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An Information-Processing Study of a Complex Workflow in Aircraft Electronics Repair

John L. Kmetz
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 29, No. 2 (Jun., 1984), pp. 255-280
DOI: 10.2307/2393177
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2393177
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
An Information-Processing Study of a Complex Workflow in Aircraft Electronics Repair
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Abstract

This paper is a qualitative analysis of an intensive study of a maintenance workflow used at shore bases and aboard U. S. Navy aircraft carriers. The study describes repair processes for U.S. Navy aviation electronics using automatic test equipment. It includes the intended functioning of the workflow, problems in this workflow, and informal adjustments to compensate for these problems. Observations from the study are used to develop a detailed description of information processing, in which information buffers are identified as a significant underlying mechanism for adjusting workflow problems. Task and management information processing are differentiated, and implications of the findings for organization slack and loose coupling are discussed.

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