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Factors Influencing the Tendency to Improvise in Offshore Maintenance Work

Sterkman, Hendrikus Thomas LU (2016) FLMU06 20152
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
This thesis extends previous work on improvisation in operational environments by asking if the tendency to improvise among maintenance technicians, working on a remote location in a centralized organization, is influenced by circumstantial factors. The factors of interest in this study are the accessibility of help from the centralized organization and the perceived degree of centralization.

This thesis presents research results from a quantitative study of offshore maintenance technicians working for a large, cross border, energy provider with the objective of establishing correlation between the tendency to improvise and the defined circumstantial factors. The results support the argument that the tendency to improvise correlates... (More)
This thesis extends previous work on improvisation in operational environments by asking if the tendency to improvise among maintenance technicians, working on a remote location in a centralized organization, is influenced by circumstantial factors. The factors of interest in this study are the accessibility of help from the centralized organization and the perceived degree of centralization.

This thesis presents research results from a quantitative study of offshore maintenance technicians working for a large, cross border, energy provider with the objective of establishing correlation between the tendency to improvise and the defined circumstantial factors. The results support the argument that the tendency to improvise correlates negatively with the accessibility of help. A significant negative correlation was also found between the tendency to improvise and the perceived degree of centralization, although this was in contradiction with the initial hypothesis. Due to the nature of the research, no causality between the variables could be established.

The thesis highlights that offshore maintenance technicians understand and recognize the moment that the pre-established plans or procedures are not applicable at the situation encountered. The results of the research furthermore support the conclusion that the current reliance on centralized approaches to increase the (perceived) availability of help are based on unrealistic expectations towards the effectiveness of these procedures.

The thesis concludes by recommending that future research should focus on the distinction between unassisted problem solving, within the practitioners boundaries of competence and experience, and actual improvisation as a way to deal with unexpected events. (Less)
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author
Sterkman, Hendrikus Thomas LU
supervisor
organization
course
FLMU06 20152
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Improvisation, Maintenencae, Safety, Offshore, Help, Centralization, FLMU06
language
English
id
8871430
date added to LUP
2016-05-19 11:26:09
date last changed
2016-05-19 11:26:09
@misc{8871430,
  abstract     = {This thesis extends previous work on improvisation in operational environments by asking if the tendency to improvise among maintenance technicians, working on a remote location in a centralized organization, is influenced by circumstantial factors. The factors of interest in this study are the accessibility of help from the centralized organization and the perceived degree of centralization.

This thesis presents research results from a quantitative study of offshore maintenance technicians working for a large, cross border, energy provider with the objective of establishing correlation between the tendency to improvise and the defined circumstantial factors. The results support the argument that the tendency to improvise correlates negatively with the accessibility of help. A significant negative correlation was also found between the tendency to improvise and the perceived degree of centralization, although this was in contradiction with the initial hypothesis. Due to the nature of the research, no causality between the variables could be established.

The thesis highlights that offshore maintenance technicians understand and recognize the moment that the pre-established plans or procedures are not applicable at the situation encountered. The results of the research furthermore support the conclusion that the current reliance on centralized approaches to increase the (perceived) availability of help are based on unrealistic expectations towards the effectiveness of these procedures.

The thesis concludes by recommending that future research should focus on the distinction between unassisted problem solving, within the practitioners boundaries of competence and experience, and actual improvisation as a way to deal with unexpected events.},
  author       = {Sterkman, Hendrikus Thomas},
  keyword      = {Improvisation,Maintenencae,Safety,Offshore,Help,Centralization,FLMU06},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Factors Influencing the Tendency to Improvise in Offshore Maintenance Work},
  year         = {2016},
}