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The dark side of advanced technologies: a case study of American Airlines Flight 587

The dark side of advanced technologies: a case study of American Airlines Flight 587
The dark side of advanced technologies: a case study of American Airlines Flight 587
The following chapter is a dark side case study exploring two interrelated sociotechnical themes: the complex contributing factors behind airline accidents and the paradox of advanced technology, a tool that can both improve and debilitate workplace performance. It is often convenient to blame accidents and fatalities on individuals and ‘operator error’, yet there is often another side to the story. By examining the complex series of events related to the 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight 587, the case offers business and management school students an opportunity to analyze the often taken-for-granted assumptions that new technologies are always better, technological developments always improve human performance, and people who resist technological change are cynical naysayers attempting to undermine the inevitable progress new technologies provide. In addition, this case challenges the wisdom of governments allowing high-risk industries such as aviation to essentially self-regulate in today’s neoliberal environments . Through this critical lens, the case encourages students to grapple with the ethics of a real-world dilemma that was identified as potentially catastrophic years before the crash of Flight 587, yet nonetheless proceeded predictably to failure resulting in the death of 265 people. When juxtaposed against the goals of contemporary capitalism and notions of technological determinism , the case yields a variety of in-congruent issues and therefore offers the potential to generate a rich and vibrant classroom debate.
Greenleaf Publishing
Fraher, Amy
5c2ad136-717b-43b1-be85-c7a970f85116
Sauerbronn, Fernanda
Fatien Diochon, Pauline
Mills, Albert J.
Raufflet, Emmanuel
Fraher, Amy
5c2ad136-717b-43b1-be85-c7a970f85116
Sauerbronn, Fernanda
Fatien Diochon, Pauline
Mills, Albert J.
Raufflet, Emmanuel

Fraher, Amy (2017) The dark side of advanced technologies: a case study of American Airlines Flight 587. In, Sauerbronn, Fernanda, Fatien Diochon, Pauline, Mills, Albert J. and Raufflet, Emmanuel (eds.) The Dark Side 3. Greenleaf Publishing.

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The following chapter is a dark side case study exploring two interrelated sociotechnical themes: the complex contributing factors behind airline accidents and the paradox of advanced technology, a tool that can both improve and debilitate workplace performance. It is often convenient to blame accidents and fatalities on individuals and ‘operator error’, yet there is often another side to the story. By examining the complex series of events related to the 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight 587, the case offers business and management school students an opportunity to analyze the often taken-for-granted assumptions that new technologies are always better, technological developments always improve human performance, and people who resist technological change are cynical naysayers attempting to undermine the inevitable progress new technologies provide. In addition, this case challenges the wisdom of governments allowing high-risk industries such as aviation to essentially self-regulate in today’s neoliberal environments . Through this critical lens, the case encourages students to grapple with the ethics of a real-world dilemma that was identified as potentially catastrophic years before the crash of Flight 587, yet nonetheless proceeded predictably to failure resulting in the death of 265 people. When juxtaposed against the goals of contemporary capitalism and notions of technological determinism , the case yields a variety of in-congruent issues and therefore offers the potential to generate a rich and vibrant classroom debate.

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Published date: 1 July 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 428065
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/428065
PURE UUID: 7084d46e-f029-4db5-8c6f-6682c877b3d1
ORCID for Amy Fraher: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2093-5164

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Date deposited: 07 Feb 2019 17:30
Last modified: 30 Jan 2020 01:50

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Contributors

Author: Amy Fraher ORCID iD
Editor: Fernanda Sauerbronn
Editor: Pauline Fatien Diochon
Editor: Albert J. Mills
Editor: Emmanuel Raufflet

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