This volume analyzes real in-flight communications to explain the dynamics of knowledge construction. With the use of a grounded theory approach, real-life scenarios for in-depth interviews with aviation informants were developed and analyzed using discourse analysis. The study revealed aspects of tacit knowledge and expertise behavior that develop in mission-critical environments. Among the findings, the author discovered:
• Silence is an interactional element and a substantial contributing factor to both completed flights and aviation incidents/accidents
• Hesitation is an early reaction when situational awareness is lacking
• The aviation sub-cultures contain several distinct micro-cultures which affect professional responsibility and decision-making in micro-environments
• Human errors should be acknowledged, discussed and repaired by all actors of the flight model
• Non-verbal communication in institutional settings and mediated environments is instrumental to safe and efficient operations
The results suggest fruitful applications of theory to explore how knowledge is generated in highly structured, high-risk organizational environments, such as hospitals, nuclear plants, battlefields and crisis and disaster locations.
Katerinakis explains the emergent knowledge elements in communication command with messages “spoken-heard-understood-applied," from multiple stakeholders... The interplay of theory and real-flight examples... creates a valuable narrative both for the expert reader and the lay-person.
Ilias Panagopoulos, PhD
Command Fighter Pilot, Col (Ret)
Senior Trainer, Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) Training Organisation
Safety Manager, NATO Airlift Management Programme
In this path-breaking work, Theodore Katerinakis brings the study of human communication to the airplane cockpit as a knowledge environment. Katerinakis both builds on moves beyond human factors research and ecological psychology… It is a work of theoretical value across disciplines and organizational settings and of practical importance as well. His lively narrative adds to translational research by translating knowledge or evidence into action in mission-critical systems.
Douglas V. Porpora, PhD
Professor of Sociology & Director
Communication, Culture and Media