The influence of human factors on operational efficiency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - To describe how airline operational efficiency may be improved by adopting a socio-technical systems approach which emphasises and integrates the role of human factors within a wider context. Design/methodology/approach - After describing what is meant by a socio-technical system, the paper uses four short case studies to illustrate the benefits and dis-benefits of using (or failing to use) a socio-technical systems approach. Findings - Readers are encouraged to acknowledge the role of the human being in a wider system context. It is also suggested that improving individual aspects of airline operations in isolation may not actually improve overall efficiency. Research/limitations/implications - The case studies discussed are meant to be illustrative of the socio-technical systems approach rather than an authoritative review of the area. Practical implications - The practical implications of adopting a socio-technical systems view of improvements aimed at improving efficiency are emphasised in that with early consideration of system changes bottlenecks may be identified which will reduce the efficacy of these changes. Originality/value - Possibly the first attempt at providing a wider socio-technical systems framework for the assessment of operational efficiency explicitly incorporating the role of the human in the system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalAircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Flight dynamics
  • Man machine interface
  • Socio-technical theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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