Organizational responses to uncertainty in the airline industry : changes in patterns of communication networks

Rubinstein, Saul (School of Management and Labor Relations, Rutgers University) ; Martin-Rios, Carlos (Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Erhardt, Niclas (Maine Business School, University of Maine) ; Hoffer Gittell, Jody (The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandais University) ; George, Varghese P. (University of Massachusetts Boston)

Changing environmental conditions introduce uncertainty into organizational operations, and airlines respond in various ways. Scholars traditionally explore responses to environmental uncertainty by drawing upon theories of communication networks, coordination, organizational resilience, and high reliability organizing. Yet, the research has competing communication predictions, which makes planning and designing organizational responses challenging, as the level and type of uncertainty changes over time. Research also does not address variations in responses across different groups of employees. Using longitudinal network data from the United Airlines operations tower in Newark Airport (USA), this research examines communication for the purpose of relational coordination in a dynamically adaptive organizational network. Results reveal different patterns of organizational communication as different employee groups (frontline, cross-functional boundary spanners, and managers) face varying conditions of uncertainty. This paper concludes with theoretical contributions and practical recommendations for managing complex communication networks to respond to dynamic conditions of uncertainty in the airline operations settings.


Keywords:
Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Economie et Services
School:
EHL
Subject(s):
Economie/gestion
Date:
2016
Pagination:
11 p.
Published in:
Journal of air transport management
Numeration (vol. no.):
October 2016, vol. 57, pp. 217-227
DOI:
ISSN:
0969-6997
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2017-02-20, last modified 2018-12-20

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