Crew Resource Management Revisited

  • Jan U. Hagen


The author offers a long-overdue, critical evaluation of the application of crew resource management (CRM) in aviation. Three decades ago, CRM was developed to reduce the hierarchy gradient on the flight deck. The aim was to achieve open, factual exchanges of information and thought processes in order to ensure the safe operation of flights. However, initial results from an ongoing research study the author has conducted with others have shown that most of the interviewed pilots portrayed CRM not as a fixed, integrated part of their procedures for increasing safety but rather as an add-on that ranked below carrying out their mission, safety, and standard operating procedures. In other words, either CRM has to be reshaped or the training needs to be intensified.


  1. Australian Transport Safety Bureau. 2013. ATSB transport safety report, aviation occurrence investigation – AO-2010-089, final investigation – In-flight uncontained engine failure overhead Batam Island, Indonesia, 4 November 2010, VH-OQA, Airbus A380-84. Canberra: Australian Transport Safety Bureau.Google Scholar
  2. Boeing Commercial Airplanes. 2016. Statistical summary of commercial jet airplane accidents worldwide operations – 1959–2015. N.p.Google Scholar
  3. Civil Aviation Authority—Safety Regulation Group. 2006. CAP 737, Flight-crew human factors handbook. December. N.p.Google Scholar
  4. Edmondson, A. 1999. Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly 44 (2): 350–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fraher, A.L. 2011. Thinking through crisis: Improving teamwork and leadership in high-risk fields. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Haynes, A.C. 1991. The crash of United Flight 232. Edwards: Dryden Flight Research Facility, NASA Ames Research Center.
  7. Helmreich, R.L., A.C. Merritt, and J.A. Wilhelm. 1999. The evolution of Crew Resource Management training in commercial aviation. International Journal of Aviation Psychology 9 (1): 19–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lei, Z., M.J. Waller, J. Hagen, and S. Kaplan. 2016. Team adaptiveness in dynamic contexts: Contextualizing the roles of interaction patterns and in-process planning. Group & Organization Management 41 (4): 491–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. National Transportation Safety Board. 1990. Aircraft accident report. United Airlines Flight 232, McDonnell-Douglas DC-10–10, Sioux City, Iowa, July 19, 1989. NTSB/AAR-90/06. Washington, DC: NTSB.Google Scholar
  10. ———. 1992. Aircraft accident report. Explosive decompression – Loss of cargo door in flight, United Airlines Flight 811, Boeing 747–122, N4713U, February 24, 1989. NTSB/AAR-92/02. Washington, DC: NTSB.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 1994. A review of flightcrew-involved, major accidents of U.S. air carriers, 1978 through 1990, safety study. NTSB SS-94/01. Washington, DC: NTSB.Google Scholar
  12. Schein, E.H. 2013. Humble inquiry: The gentle art of asking instead of telling. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan U. Hagen
    • 1
  1. 1.BerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations