ERIC Number: ED352398
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jul-31
Reference Count: N/A
Maydays and Murphies: A Study of the Effect of Organizational Design, Task, and Stress on Organizational Performance.
Lin, Zhiang; Carley, Kathleen
How should organizations of intelligent agents be designed so that they exhibit high performance even during periods of stress? A formal model of organizational performance given a distributed decision-making environment in which agents encounter a radar detection task is presented. Using this model the performance of organizations with various organizational designs and task characteristics subject to various stresses is examined. The following two types of stress are distinguished: (1) external stress, such as hostile events or "maydays"; and (2) internal stress, such as communication channel breakdowns or "murphies". Simulations were run considering 192 organizational types under 20 operating conditions (5 optimal and 15 suboptimal) for a total of 3,840 cases. 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 have more effect on performance than do murphies and organizational design; (3) the effects of murphies can be combated by training, but only to a limited extent; and (4) technology-induced stress typically is more debilitating than personnel-induced stress. Ten tables and 10 figures present simulation results. (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.