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Journal Article

Citation

Siemieniuch CE, Sinclair MA. Appl. Ergon. 2008; 39(2): 229-240.

Affiliation

Department of Electrical, Electronic and Systems Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics, LE11-3TU, UK.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2008, Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.apergo.2007.05.005

PMID

17624296

Abstract

This paper considers the issue of how corporate governance can and should deal with the long-term understanding of systems health-what we may call 'long-term situation awareness' (i.e. which evolves and is coherent over time) for organisational systems (and their component sub systems) in the engineering domain. Many characteristics affect long-term situation awareness-the rate of change to processes, pressures for greater efficiency from existing resources, changes in personnel, cultural changes and changes to the operational environment of the organisational systems. Many disasters (e.g. Chernobyl, Flixborough, Piper Alpha) have a causal path that indicates a loss of group situation awareness, over a long period of time. The problem of the gradual, slow drift over many years towards unsafe conduct of company operations is discussed and examples of possible consequences provided. A 'parable' from the world of manufacturing is used to exemplify the problem. The paper goes on to discuss some ways by which this problem could be addressed and longer-term system situational awareness increased; essentially by good corporate governance, knowledge management and ownership of processes. Links are made to the literature on these topics, and a route map to help organisations to gain the benefits is offered.


Language: en

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