Authority Gradient

The previous post is presenting the basics of CRM, i.e. how we can have a network of «collaborators» helping us to be on the right track and do the right things. In todays aviation the authority gradient has hence flattened out to provide for an open and «fearless» communication between all the stakeholders in Safe Operations of aircrafts. The authority gradient is an indicator of how well communication and decisions are performed among the people involved regardless of rank and status. A steep authority gradient (think of a ladder) means that it is difficult to even communicate with the captain, hence to achieve a more redundant safety environment when operating an aircraft. So why don´t we remove the authority gradient and flatten it to a «ballroom floor», i.e. the decisions are made and executed by votes. I have actually experienced that such ideas have been introduced and that is bringing it too far. The final decision is always the responsibility of the captain who are legally responsible according to aviation law. Someone has to be the final authority and that is the captain.

Leave a Reply