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Open AccessArticle

Psychological Safety in Aviation New Product Development Teams: Case Study of 737 MAX Airplane

1
School of Busines Administration, Hebrew University, Jerusalem 9190501, Israel
2
Industrial Engineering and Management, Azrieli College of Engineering, Jerusalem 9103501, Israel
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8994; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218994
Received: 6 October 2020 / Revised: 23 October 2020 / Accepted: 27 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aviation Management and Air Transport Industry)
The goal of current study is to discern the antecedents of two airplane accidents involving the Boeing MAX 737. The theory of normal accidents serves as a lens to comprehend the hazard stemming from MAX design with dissonance between two critical systems: engine propulsion and flight control. Cooper’s framework further delineates lack of psychological safety during prototype development from the project’s inception along six dimensions: management/supervision, safety systems, risk, work pressure, competence, and procedures/rules. The analysis indicates dearth of leadership commitment for a safety culture under time pressure and budget constraint. Our results corroborate the paramount importance of the pilot’s extensive simulator training in order to test the interaction between the innovative Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System and human behavior response time. Lessons gleaned from the study include three insights. First, the importance of meticulously testing a prototype during the new product development stage and the hazard stemming from improvisation to extend the life of outdated engineering design. Second, the necessity of regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, undergoing a modernization process by invigorating their ranks with data scientists attuned to 21st century skills in big data analytics. Third, FAA should diminish the delegation of self-certified permits to manufacturers. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychological safety; organizational culture; aviation safety; cooper’s culture framework; artificial intelligence psychological safety; organizational culture; aviation safety; cooper’s culture framework; artificial intelligence
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Naor, M.; Adler, N.; Pinto, G.D.; Dumanis, A. Psychological Safety in Aviation New Product Development Teams: Case Study of 737 MAX Airplane. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8994.

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