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Using mixed methods to strengthen connections between human factors and complex socio-technical systems

Mauri, C.ORCID: 0000-0003-3245-1044 and Antonovsky, A. (2021) Using mixed methods to strengthen connections between human factors and complex socio-technical systems. In: Black, N.L., Neumann, W.P. and Noy, I., (eds.) Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021). Springer, Cham, pp. 737-746.

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This paper begins by identifying two habits that hinder the ability of human factors to assist organisations in looking beyond their tech-problems, to better understand their socio-technical problems, and develop solutions. First, the tendency toward prima facie acceptance of widely accepted, often vague claims (e.g. that “communication affects productivity”), which can result in the under examination of concepts and the appropriateness of their application to real world contexts. Second, the tendency for experimental psychology to investigate such claims by testing specific constructs using environments and subjects that at best can only simulate, and can never adequately capture, the complex real-world contexts in which they are to be applied. The authors argue that these shortcomings can be addressed through analysis consisting of a mix of technical and organisational issues using both qualitative and quantitative methods. This is then illustrated through a case study of the authors’ recent project on navy vessel maintenance.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021
Other Information: Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS, volume 219)
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