Decision-Making Models of the Human-Operator as an Element of the Socio-Technical Systems

Decision-Making Models of the Human-Operator as an Element of the Socio-Technical Systems

Nina Rizun (Gdansk University of Technology, Poland) and Tetiana Shmelova (National Aviation University, Ukraine)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1656-9.ch009
OnDemand PDF Download:
List Price: $37.50


The authors of the chapter proved that the fundamental intellectual processes, which lie on the basis of decision-making behavior of the human-operator, could be identified on the bases on the analogies with the devices (elements). The basic intellectual processes of the Rational decision-making models can be adequately identified by the transient processes of the PID-controller; the intellectual processes of the Bounded Rationality and Intuitive decision-making models can be identified by the transient processes of the nonlinear elements. Taxonomy of the most typical automatic control theory elements and their compliance with certain decision-making models with a point of view of decision-making processes specificity and on human-operator behavior in the context of the socio-technical concept was obtained Authors of the chapter also accept the suggestion that the instruments of collective multi-criteria decision-making and social-network analysis theory have similar mathematical and methodological bases.
Chapter Preview


The appearance of the term Socio-Technical Systems (STS) is the result of a rapidly developing interaction between the social and technical factors that create new, sometimes unpredictable, a synergistic effect on the performance of the contemporary company. Large-scale, high- technology systems such as nuclear power generation and aviation have been called STS because they require complex interactions between their human and technological components

STS theory is theory about cooperation between the social aspects of people and society and technical aspects of machines and technology. Sociotechnical theory refers to the interrelatedness of “social” and “technical” aspects of an organization. Sociotechnical theory, as distinct from STS, proposes a number of different ways of achieving joint optimization.

The STS also tend to have two common features: high technologies and high risk activities. As such, they require much less direct operation due to the fact the technology replaces the human-operator (H-O). On the other hand, require much more remote operator's supervision due to the modern tendency to supervise the technology by distance. The systems' work is not transparent due to increased difficulty to know exactly what the technology is being used. The systems are also highly hazardous and of high-risk, and have greater potential for catastrophic.

The relationship between social and technical factors of those systems may be of two types:

  • Linear: A predictable, manageable. Is associated with expected conditions, the solving of routine, repetitive and well-structured problems, based on pre-established rules, regulations, as well as operator's experience and technical knowledge; and

  • Nonlinear: Unpredictable, illogical. Is associated with the occurrence of uncertainty. They are characterized by semi-structured and unstructured problems. Solutions, which have received in the non-programmed, unexpected situations, contain the risk. These solutions require specific personal and professional qualities and creativity.

An addition, STS as a system with feedback, on the one hand, is a powerful tool for changing the socio element as part of the modern enterprise. The dynamism of the science and technology development, the rate of occurrence and processing of information, the increasing of the work's pace and tension of and more modifies the behavioural characteristics of a human, the specifics of his/her thinking, the models of the DM. On the other hand, H-O creates new requirements for its environmental technology, which should satisfy both his/her professional and behavioural characteristics. The specificity of contemporary cyber-organizations as STS necessitates the formation of modern system of the computational methods and models H-O's DM behaviour.

That's why one of the urgent concerns of the contemporary management – to find the new approaches to the formation of a socio-technical concept of human operators decision-making models, algorithms and techniques which should be based on modern technical, technological and social categories, phenomena and methodologies.



On the basis of the socio-technical concept of H-Or's decision-making models (DMM), suggested by the authors, the following major heuristics are suggested:

  • Heuristic 1: The development of modern automated control systems, the complication of hardware components' systems and technology, the extensive usage of computer technology in the organization and management of the production process lead to an increased human's role in the management of and restructuring of its activities (Timochko, 2007; Pavlenko, 2007).

Thus on the one hand, the following typical for STS human-operator's activities:

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: