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Resilience in Everyday Operations: A Framework for Analysing Adaptations in High Risk Work
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8862-7331
Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI).
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH. Stockholm, Sweden.
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2014 (English)In: Journal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, ISSN 1555-3434, Vol. 8, no 1, 78-97 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Managing complexity and uncertainty in high risk, socio-technical, systems requires people to continuously adapt. Designing resilient systems that support adaptive behaviour requires a deepened understanding of the context in which the adaptations take place, enablers for successful adaptations and their affect the overall system. Also, it requires a focus on how people actually perform, not how they are presumed to perform according to textbook situations. We propose a framework to analyse adaptive behaviour in everyday situations where systems are working near the margins of safety. The examples that underlie the framework are derived from nine focus groups with representatives working with safety related issues in different work domains, including health care, nuclear, transportation and emergency services. Further, the variety space diagram is developed as a means to illustrate how system variability, disturbances and constraints affect work performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2014. Vol. 8, no 1, 78-97 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91989DOI: 10.1177/1555343413498753ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84893856937OAI: diva2:619907
Available from: 2013-05-07 Created: 2013-05-07 Last updated: 2015-03-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Resilience in High Risk Work: Analysing Adaptive Performance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Resilience in High Risk Work: Analysing Adaptive Performance
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In today’s complexsocio-technical systems it is not possible to foresee and prepare for allfuture events. To cope with the intricacy and coupling between people,technical systems and the dynamic environment people are required tocontinuously adapt. To design resilient systems a deepened understanding ofwhat supports and enables adaptive performance is needed. In this thesis two studiesare presented that investigate how adaptive abilities can be identified andanalysed in complex work settings across domains. The studies focus onunderstanding adaptive performance, what enables successful adaptation and how contextual factors affect the performance. The first study examines how acrisis command team adapts as they lose important functions of their teamduring a response operation.  The secondstudy presents a framework to analyse adaptive behaviour in everyday work wheresystems are working near the margins of safety. The examples that underlie theframework are based on findings from focus group discussion withrepresentatives from different organisations, including health care, nuclear,transportation and emergency services. Main contributions of this thesis includethe examination of adaptive performance and of how it can be analysed as ameans to learn about and strengthen resilience. By using contextual analysis enablersof adaptive performance and its effects the overall system are identified. Theanalysis further demonstrates that resilience is not a system property but aresult of situational circumstances and organisational structures. Theframework supports practitioners and researchers in reporting findings,structuring cases and making sense of sharp-end adaptations. The analysismethod can be used to better understand system adaptive capacities, monitoradaptive patterns and enhance current methods for safety management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 51 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1589
Resilience Engineering, Safety Management, Adaptive Capacity, Improvisation
National Category
Other Computer and Information Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90726 (URN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2013:23 (Local ID)978-91-7519-634-3 (print) (ISBN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2013:23 (Archive number)LiU-Tek-Lic-2013:23 (OAI)
2013-05-24, Alan Turing, Hus E, Campus Valla, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme
Available from: 2013-05-07 Created: 2013-04-04 Last updated: 2013-05-07Bibliographically approved

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