In recent years, airlines have begun to train and assess crew resource management (CRM) tasks similarly to technical tasks. However, in order for individual CRM categories (e.g., workload management, communication, situation awareness, etc.) to be viewed as skills, performance on a particular CRM category should transfer to different situations. In this study, we examined how well CRM behaviors generalized across different flight contexts. We analyzed pilot performance from five line oriented evaluations (LOEs). The LOEs were divided into phases of flight and many different behaviors were graded within each LOE, some of which were previously classified as belonging to a particular CRM category (e.g., workload management). A series of regression analyses showed that less than 1% of the total variance in grades was due to CRM categories; in contrast phase of flight accounted for roughly 10% of the total variance in grades. Thus, pilots performed more consistently within a phase of flight (regardless of CRM task category) than within a specific CRM category. We discuss several caveats and limitations associated with these findings. However, the findings do question the idea that CRM performance is a skill. One implication of these results is that pilot training may be more effectively focused around contexts rather than around specific CRM task categories.
Hendrickson, S. M.,
Trumpower, D. L.,
Goldsmith, T. E.,
& Johnson, P. J.
(2005). Evidence Against Crew Resource Management as a Cognitive Skill. 2005 International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 299-303.