Many aircraft accidents have illustrated the catastrophic consequences of ineffective leadership. However, the optimal form of leadership during emergencies on board is not yet fully explored, particularly not with regards to its influence on decision making. Several authors have studied decision making errors in the cockpit, but to our knowledge so far, nobody has considered the role of the cabin crew, who in these stressful and challenging circumstances have to closely collaborate with pilots despite obvious differences in their training and culture. This study investigates the influence of collective leadership on the quality of decision making by observing 84 cockpit and cabin crews (N=504) live during a simulated emergency. Results indicate that collective leadership strongly correlates with the quality of the decision and crew performance. To conclude, we discuss the implications of those results for decision making in aviation and recommend changes in the design and content of CRM training.
& Grote, G.
(2011). Emergency at 35’000 Ft.: How Cockpit and Cabin Crews Lead Each Other to Safety. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 130-135.