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Is redundancy enough? A preliminary study of Apache crew behaviour
Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science (2012)
  • Gwendolyn C.H. Bakx
  • James M. Nyce, Ball State University

Redundancy often is considered a safety multiplier. In complex socio-technological systems however, according to proponents of complex systems theory, the impact of social redundancy (the social counterpart of technological redundancy) can be suboptimal. Ethnographically inspired research was therefore conducted on whether and how members of a European Apache attack helicopter unit applied the concept of social redundancy in their helicopters when conducting operations. Research results suggest that social redundancy is a far more nuanced phenomenon than its technological counterpart. Technological innovations and enhanced system integration of machine and operators have tightly coupled human tasks, system and environment over time. The impact of this on inter- and intra-crew behaviour has been neglected so far in traditional approaches to social redundancy. At a micro-level, above all, social redundancy appears to be affected by a broad range of contextual factors at a macro-level that have to be balanced and rebalanced again and again.

  • Redundancy,
  • social redundancy,
  • military,
  • system safety,
  • helicopters,
  • Apache,
  • crews
Publication Date
March 16, 2012
Citation Information
Gwendolyn C.H. Bakx and James M. Nyce. "Is redundancy enough? A preliminary study of Apache crew behaviour" Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science Vol. iFirst Online (2012)
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