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Foolishness without consequence? From physical to virtual modeling in the history of military aircraft development at Saab
Linköpings universitet.
Linköpings universitet.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2019 (English)In: Industrial and Corporate Change, ISSN 0960-6491, E-ISSN 1464-3650, Vol. 29, no 1, article id dtz065Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

From Jim March we learned that organizational intelligence demands adaptation to the needs of a distant future as well as the efficient use of resources in the present. Commitment to new ideas that deviate from norm is necessary for long-term adaptation, but comes with great uncertainty as to if when or how success will come. This article uses a historical study of military aircraft manufacturer Saab to explore the transition from experimenting with physical models and dangerous test flights in the development of rather simple aircraft systems, to the development of complex integrated aircraft systems using virtual models that can be tested in a simulated world, thereby postponing choice and the need for commitment of resources in the physical world. We show how modeling techniques and tools were developed over five generations of aircraft to help developers represent and evaluate alternative ideas, in an increasingly realistic virtual reality, thereby reducing material and fatal consequences in aircraft development. We distinguish hybrid forms of evaluation and a transition that seems to be moving in the direction of “virtual online evaluation,” where empirically informed simulation models, based on real flight data reduces the fidelity gap between reality and representation. Drawing upon a selection of Jim March’s writings, we speculate what this transition implies for learning from experience and the possibility of foolishness without consequence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 29, no 1, article id dtz065
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-399136DOI: 10.1093/icc/dtz065OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-399136DiVA, id: diva2:1377896
Funder
Vinnova, 2016-03226Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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