Investigating and Operationalising the Mindful Organising Construct in an Air Traffic Control Organisation

Mindful organizing highlights the commitment to recognize latent failures, deviances, and surprises that may foreshadow the development of larger unwanted events. This social process is fed by extensive real-time communication and interaction by front-line operators. Safety is therefore achieved through these human processes and relationships. But what should an organization do in practice to be mindful? The authors explored this in the Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), an Air Traffic Control (ATC) organization, which has reported for many years high-standards of safety (i.e. very low numbers of serious incidents). A single-case study approach was used to support the in-depth description and understanding of the phenomenon within its real-life context. The mindful organizing principles have been followed to design the protocol for data collection and its multiple sources of information (semi-structured interviews, observations, workshop, documents, analysis of the current tools in use). Data triangulation and the use of a software for Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) have supported the achievement of data reliability and validity. The results provide a picture of the current safety mindful organizing in place, assessing the way safety procedures and processes are advanced, the extent to which weak signals are detected, recorded, and analyzed, how the best practices/recommendations are implemented, and the overall quality of the information flow. The results of this study suggest improvements in the mindful organizing construct from an organizational point of view. This paves the way for the definition of requirements to advance a model able to provide clearer guidance to any organization wishing to sustain mindful organizing.


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  • Accession Number: 01716972
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 28 2019 3:04PM