1st Edition

The Dragon in the Cockpit How Western Aviation Concepts Conflict with Chinese Value Systems

By Hung Sying Jing, Allen Batteau Copyright 2015
    232 Pages
    by Routledge

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    The purpose of The Dragon in the Cockpit is to enhance the mutual understanding between Western aviation human-factors practitioners and the Chinese aviation community by describing some of the fundamental Chinese cultural characteristics pertinent to the field of flight safety. China’s demand for air transportation is widely expected to increase further, and the Chinese aviation community are now also designing their own commercial aircraft, the COMAC C-919. Consequently, the interactions in the air between the West and China are anticipated to become far more extensive and dynamic. However, due to the multi-faceted nature of Chinese culture, it is sometimes difficult for Westerners to understand Chinese thought and ways, sometimes to the detriment of aviation safety. This book provides crucial insights into Chinese culture and how it manifests itself during flight operations, as well as highlighting ways in which Western technology and Chinese culture clash within the cockpit. Science and technology studies (STS) have demonstrated that sophisticated technologies embed cultural assumptions, usually in subtle ways. These cultural assumptions 'bite back' when the technology is used in an unfamiliar cultural context. By creating the insider’s perspective on the cultural/technological assumptions of the world’s fastest growing industrial economy, this book seeks to minimize the accidents and damage resulting from technological/cultural misunderstandings and misperceptions.

    Chapter 1 Tragedy in Nagoya; Chapter 2 Technology, Language, and Culture; Chapter 3 Fundamental Features of Taiwanese Accidents; Chapter 4 A Chinese Viewpoint of Western Culture in Aviation Safety; Chapter 5 Descendants of the Dragon; Chapter 6 Measuring Chinese Authoritarianism in the Cockpit; Chapter 7 We Are All in One Family; Chapter 8 Guanxi Gradient; Chapter 9 A Struggle of Two Mindsets; Chapter 10 Flight Safety Margin Theory; Chapter 11 A Harmonious Sky through Compatibility;


    Dr Hung-Sying Jing is Professor of the Institute of Civil Aviation at the National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, Republic of China. He serves as an editorial board member for the Aviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors Journal and also Taiwan’s Science Monthly. He holds visiting professorships at Airbus Industries, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Xiamen University in China. He is the author of numerous articles in applied mechanics and also several books in Taiwan. Dr Jing received his PhD from the Ohio State University in 1985. His specialties are aviation human factors and culture in flight safety. Dr Allen Batteau is a cultural anthropologist and former director of Wayne State University’s Institute for Information Technology and Culture. He is the author of The Anthropology of Aviation and Flight Safety (Human Organization), Anthropological Approaches to Culture, Aviation, and Flight Safety (Human Factors in Aerospace Safety), and numerous other books and articles, most recently including Technology and Culture (Waveland Press, 2010). A certified private pilot, his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautic and Space Administration, and numerous other international and corporate bodies. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

    "This book could not be more timely as aviation becomes increasingly international and, with it, the need for professionals to understand cultural forces and how they can affect aviation safety. Jing and Batteau provide superb insights into eastern and western cultural influences, and how Confucian perspectives differ from those of the West. This book would be a welcome addition to anyone with an interest in cultural differences, aviation safety, and human factors."

    —Barry Strauch, Strauch Associates, LLC, USA

    "In The Dragon in the Cockpit, Jing and Batteau examine the most important differences between the Chinese and Western cultures and value systems in flight operation, especially since China is becoming one of the most prominent forces in commercial aviation. Can such vastly different perspectives be overcome by rigorous training, strong management, professionalism, and a strong cooperative culture? Jing and Batteau give you their insights in this magnificent book!"

    —Kay Yong, Chairman (retired), Aviation Safety Council, Taiwan, ROC