Diane Vaughan's Most Recent Book - Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning: Air Traffic Control, System Effects, and Risk First Edition

by Diane Vaughan

There is a good review here:

Most studies of groups working together are in an office or factory and are not as dynamic as air traffic control and not as relevant to mariners.

The key point here is that the skilled air traffic controller is not just the master of an explicit set of protocols and procedures. He or she has gained a set of cognitive skills that are “embodied” rather than formally represented as a system of formal rules and facts. “Collectively, controllers’ cultural system of knowledge is a set of embodied repertoires – cognitive, physical, emotional, and material practices – that are learned and drawn upon to craft action from moment to moment in response to changing conditions.

There’s a fair amount of overlap between this topic and this one:The Technology of Team Navigation - Hutchins

Another link: Understanding Society: Skilled synchronized cooperation

I’m inclined to think that skilled time-sensitive cooperation is not very common in ordinary social life. There seem to be relatively few examples of cooperative activities that require the high degree of coordination and timing specified here

Perhaps the most common example of an area of common social action that requires this kind of training, skill, and coordination is in the field of emergency response: firefighters, emergency rooms and surgical suites in hospitals, and emergency responders in large cities.

Team sports. There is value in hiring guys who have excelled playing team sports.

Musicians. Same idea for good musicians that can play in a group, especially an impromptu group.

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I thought this was interesting:

The fact that a team depends on both kinds of skills – individual and coordinative – explains why All-Star teams are not very good at basketball and are better at baseball. All the players are highly skilled as individuals. But they haven’t had the practice together that would be needed for them to function at a high level as a team: recognizing each other’s particular strengths and accurately judging their likely behavior and speed in the next several seconds.