Roger Bohn

 

Faculty Speaker Professor Roger Bohn [University of California, San Diegol]
Title From "Learn or die" to Air France 447: How technologies like aviation and medicine evolve from art toward science
Date & Time Friday, November 14, 2014 at 10:30am
Place UCLA Anderson School of Management 
Room D-310 

 

Abstract
Knowledge-intensive technologies and industries are becoming more important because of broad economic shifts, including the loss of middle class occupations and the growth of information-intensive services. This talk will look at a similar technology, flying, which used to be a pure craft, but is now an operational science.  Until 1930, pilots were heroic craftsmen. They learned to fly by doing, and often by crashing. Now, pilots are system supervisors, while computers control the aircraft. Airplanes "learn" to fly better by getting software upgrades. All technologies fall somewhere along the spectrum of the five paradigms that flying went through in its evolution from craft to science. Industries have strong incentives to push their technologies toward the next paradigm. Examples that fit this framework include manufacturing, health care, professional sports, consumer marketing, and online crime. Much of medicine today is about where flying was in 1940, with good measurements of aircraft/patient status, but idiosyncratic and conflicting rules for making decisions. Flying's next paradigm was similar to Taylorism, with standard procedures, empirically-derived formulas for quantitative decisions, and checklists. The transition took pilots a decade; medicine is struggling with the analogous transition today. This framework helps to explain the lower utility of management sciences in certain functions and industries. It also provides clues about the future of work in advanced economies

Roger Bohn