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Interrogating the unknown: risk analysis and sensemaking in airline safety oversight

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The initial identification of risks in organizations is one of the key challenges of risk management. This research investigates how weak signals of emerging risks are identified and interpreted within airlines. An ethnographic study of airline flight safety investigators was conducted to examine the interpretive work of risk analysis and the sensemaking processes employed to identify risks. The findings suggest that the perception and use of organizational ignorance was central to this work. Risks were identified by constructing and enlarging small moments of doubt, where current knowledge was found to be questionable or suspect in some way. These sensemaking processes were supported by an analytical culture organized around assumptions that organizational knowledge is inherently limited, partial and fallible.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36123/1/Disspaper43.pdf

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