Knowledge elicitation in reliability management in the airline industry

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Knowledge elicitation in reliability management in the airline industry

 

Author: Kwong, May-yin Erin
Title: Knowledge elicitation in reliability management in the airline industry
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Airlines -- Management.
Knowledge management.
Airplanes -- Reliability.
Reliability (Engineering)
Department: Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Pages: vii, 154 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2233696
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4977
Abstract: Aircraft reliability is a very important issue for an airline. Once there is an accident, the airline will suffer financially. Passengers' confidence in the airplane may also be shaken to a degree beyond recovery. Considerations of reliability management are different from traditional failure prevention or failure analysis. Aircraft components are expensive, and there are complicated procedures for aircraft surveillance, replacement of parts and periodic maintenance. In reliability management, the main task is to arrive at optimal maintenance decisions, processes and policies to ensure the safety criteria are met while at the same time the solution will not have burdensome and unrealistic financial implications for the profitability of the business. Knowledge elicitation is a very important process in Knowledge Management and it is useful in helping to retain knowledge within an organization. Knowledge can be captured through the means of surveys, and interviews and ethnography etc. After analyzing the information obtained, it can be organized and presented in different ways. For example, knowledge can be stored in a database or in a document management system, presented in semantic nets, concept maps, etc. In this research, cognitive mapping is chosen for making visible the mental models of the staff in the Engineering Division of Dragonair who handle reliability issues. The cognitive maps are constructed from the narrative data collected from a particular group who share the same concerns, by asking participants to tell their stories. This technique is simple yet effective in stimulating people to reflect on their intuitive thinking, to capture and to organize their experiences. With a sufficient number of cognitive maps elicited from each individual member of staff, the reasoning patterns are revealed and then combined to form an aggregate cognitive map. This aggregate cognitive map represents the collective knowledge and insights of the whole reliability group about handling reliability issues. Such a combined map is similar to the construction of a taxonomy of knowledge required for handling their daily operations. The map can help make their thinking process explicit when they need to handle new cases which are similar to those that they have handled in the past. It can also help trigger their thoughts when they face new situations. Team learning is achieved through the process of constructing and validating the aggregate cognitive map constructed from individual narratives. Such a map will make sense to the staff as it helps users to reflect on what they have done in the past and what others have done. Extracting learning points and identifying thinking processes from narratives provide a natural and useful way of revealing and sharing the staff's group mental model for working on a common task. This thesis is a demonstration of how to elicit tacit knowledge from individuals and make it available to a team and then elicit it from the team and make it available to the whole organization.

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