Maydays and Murphies: A Study of the Effect of Organizational Design, Task, and Stress on Organizational Performance
Technical rept. 1 May 1991-29 Jul 1992
PITTSBURGH UNIV PA LEARNING RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER
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How should organizations of intelligent agents be designed so that they exhibit high performance even during periods of stress We present a formal model of organizational performance given a distributed decision making environment in which agents encounter a radar detection task. using this model, we examine the performance of organizations with various organizational designs and task characteristics subject to various stresses. We distinguish two types of stress - external stress such as hostile events that we call maydays and internal stress such as communication channel breakdown that we call murphies. This formal analysis suggests that 1 regardless of stress, performance is enhanced if there is a match between the complexity of organizational design and task 2 task characteristics and maydays external stress have more effect on performance than murphies internal stress and organizational design 3 the effects of murphies internal stress can be ted by training, but only to a limited extent 4 technology induced stress typically is more debilitating than personnel induced stress.... Stress, Organizational design, Organizational task, Stylized radar task, Task characteristics, Procedures, Inter-relationship.