As automation has taken over more of the procedural aspects of work and as the complexity and the pace of change in the workplace has increased the human's role with respect to safety has changed. The human's ability to follow procedures without error is becoming less important, and the human's ability to generate new procedures in response to changes or to situations that were not anticipated in the design of the system becomes increasingly more important. In other words, automation has taken over many of the routines that reflect inner control loops in advanced technical systems leaving humans to deal with the outer, adaptive control loops. The information processing model, with its emphasis on internal processing limits, may not be the best framework for thinking about this new role. Instead, a "meaning processing" framework might better address the generative and creative demands of adapting to dynamic work environments.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/john_flach/17/