Adaptive Team Behaviors for Coping with Unexpected and Unknown Situations - An Observational Study
Authors: Cornelia Kleindienst, Jonas Brüngger, Julia Koch, Frank Ritz
Abstract: Industries with high risk-potential like nuclear power plants need to manage abnormal potentially critical situations on team level for assuring reliable and safe operating. Safety is looked at as a "dynamic non-event" (Weick & Sutcliffe, 2001) and therefore has to be continually built on by the operating team through adaptive actions in relation to the situational context. The team processes and behaviors used for achieving shared mental models (or common situation awareness) are especially interesting for good problem solving, decision making and adaptation. In our study we collected data from eight four- to seven-person control room teams working in a nuclear power plant in Switzerland during their annual training in the interactive simulator of the plant control room. Simulations of two different scenarios were videotaped. The simulator scenarios generate an unexpected unstandardized situation (situations that were not covered / could not be solved solely by standard operation procedure) the team has to solve in order to stabilize the plant. Additionally, we got individual data by a questionnaire to capture individual characteristics of the team, especially regarding professional experience. The results still have to be considered as explorative in nature, due to the small sample size and time consuming coding of further additional team behaviors.
Keywords: Adaptation, Team Cognition, Safety, Nuclear Power Plant
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