Risk management in a Dynamic Society: A Modeling Problem

Jens Rasmussen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch


    The paper present a modeling problem related to industrial risk management within large-scale hazardous installations in a modern, dynamic society. The socio-technical system involved in risk management includes several levels ranging from legislators, managers,work planners, and operators. This system is presently stressed by a fast pace of technological change, by an increasingly aggressive, competitive environment, and by changing regulatory practices and public pressure.Traditionally, each level of this is studied separately by a particular academic discipline, and modeling is done by generalizing across systems and their particular hazard sources. It is argued that risk management must be modeled by cross-disciplinary studies, considering risk management to be a control problem and serving to represent the control structure involving all levels of society for each particular hazard category.It is argued that this requires a system oriented approach based on functional abstraction rather than structural decomposition. Therefore, task analysis focused on action sequences and occasional deviation in terms of human errors should be replaced by a model of behavior shaping mechanisms in terms of work system constraints, boundaries of acceptable performance,and subjective criteria guiding adaptation to change. It is found that at present a convergence of research paradigms of human sciences guided by cognitive science concepts supports this approach.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Conference on Human Interaction with Complex Systems,
    Number of pages28
    Publication date1996
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    EventConference on Human Interaction with Complex Systems - Dayton, United States
    Duration: 25 Aug 199628 Aug 1996


    ConferenceConference on Human Interaction with Complex Systems
    CountryUnited States


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