Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Outliers and PDI - Chapter 7

[Outliers Reading Group]

In chapter seven “The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes,” Malcolm Gladwell discusses the activities of a tragic Korean Air flight and readers get a sense of how the interactions between pilots and co-pilots relates to the larger discussion of cultural legacies. Gladwell explains that some airplane crashes can be linked to the modes of communication (and lack thereof) among the officers within the cockpit.

In addition to pointing out that airplane crashes are the result of a combination of several factors, Gladwell identifies Geert Hofstede’s concept “Power Distance Index" (PDI) – a measuring system “concerned with attitudes toward hierarchy, specifically with how much a particular culture values and respects authority” – as a crucial issue for understanding why, for example, pilots from some nations may have been at a cultural disadvantage for effective and essential communication in an airplane cockpit.

What idea or scene discussed by Gladwell captured your attention most? Why or how so? Please identify the page number for the idea or passage that you cite.

13 comments:

Peyton Dunne said...

Pages 177-179 discuss the Korean Airflight 801 and that captured my attention the most. The part that interested me is that the pilot had many years of experience, had been to the airport 8 times before this incident and had just received an award for handling a jumbo-jet failure at low altitudes. The pilot was well rested, had eaten, studied the path, and was ready to go. He made it all the way to Seoul and everything went flawlessly until the landing. The plane crashed into a mountain and almost all of the passengers died. This shows that no matter the amount of skill or preparation, anything could happen.

Tameah Foley said...

Pages 179-182 talks about Korean Air's frequent plane crashes. This section was interesting to me because of the 40 page audit that was released to the public. The audit described how the crew read newspapers throughout the flight, bad morale, procedural violations, and poor training standards.

Deborrah Blackburn said...

The scene that captured my attention was on pages 179-182 where it talked about Korean Air's many plane crashes. One of the most significant phrases of this passage was when he said, "Korean Air did not succeed-it did not right itself-until it acknowledged the importance of its cultural legacy. This stuck out to me because it can be applied to many situations that countries, including ours, face. Whenever something needs to be fixed it does not happen until the credibility of the country is put at risk, and then more people begin to care and try to fix the problem.
D. Blackburn

Aliyah Butler said...

The scene that captured my attention was from page 187 to 190 where he was talking about the pilot who was exhausted and making bad decisions. It interested me because the pilot was doing something that was supposed to be natural for him. He was supposed to know how to fly a plane and have expertise in that field. However, because he was tired his mind started to mush together and he made very poor decisions. This interested me, because it shows how important sleep is. He was putting other lives in danger, because he was too tired to focus.

Aliyah B.

Jacquesia H. said...

Starting on page 179, it talks about the Korean Airplanes and how they had frequent crashes. What stuck out is the fact that a plane crashed with an award wining pilot flying it. What i took away from that it that anything can happen at anytime. Some things simply cannot be avoided, it is a frightening fact, but it is still very true.

Lindsey McCall said...

Pages 179-180 captured my attention because he discusses how a Korean plane was shot down and considered an accident, but then it happened again within two years. This captured my attention because he states how the first crash was analyzed and evaluated and lessons were supposedly learned. Although this may have been the case, the information learned must not have been communicated well to those in the cockpit because it happened again.

Aja Jackson said...

On pages 179-182, Gladwell talks about various crashes that the Korean Airlines experienced. It was interesting because of all the crashes that happened, I would have thought that maybe the airline would have been shut down. Although the pilots might have been doing their jobs well for years, maybe it was time for them to look for new pilots or at least make sure they were ready for flight since Gladwell said that in 52% of crashes the pilot has been awake for 12 or more hours.
Aja J.

Kellsey H said...

The scene that captured my attention most was the one regarding the Korean airline on pages 179-180. I found it quite interesting that subsequent to the first crash,even though it was "investigated and analyzed," more incidents like this occurred.

Alexandra Donaldson said...

The part that really stuck out to me the most was the discussion about the Korean Air's numerous plane crashes from page 179-182. It was shocking because the crashes involved extremely skilled pilots but because they had neglected to properly care for themselves it put so many people at risk. It showed me how important proper care for yourself is and how detrimental it can be for you and others if you fail to do so.
Alex D.

Anonymous said...

Pages 179-182 talks about the Korean airline frequent plane crashes. This stood out to me because these are highly skilled pilots yet they fail to take proper protocol in preparing themselves for these flights. This shoes that just because a person knows everything about a certain skill doesn't mean they always follow every guideline necessary to alway be 100% successful
Monet. E

Courtney said...

Pages 177-179 intrigued me the most because it shows pure chance as a variable into this equation of being successful and being an outliner. In this book he shows that there is chance but he gives evidence to back up the reasons why certain opportunities where taking advantage of and some weren't. I also enjoyed 202-209 because of the subordinates being more collected than their superior but lacking the ranking to make actions instead of words.

Kahli Cox said...

On page 196 there is a very passive discussion between a first officer and a captain about the ice on the wings of the plane. This catches my attention because as someone partially responsible for flying a plane, it's worrisome that someone can be so afraid to speak up clearly, even when the safety of themselves or others is at stake. I've ridden on many airplanes and it never occurred to me until now that the people flying the plane were anything less than assertive and sure of themselves. It's a scary concept to be confronted with.

Fiona Hill said...

Like many others, the pages that stuck out the most to be were 179-182 where the author discussed Korean Air's numerous plane crashes. This interested me because I felt after the first two or so, the airline would be shut down for the safety of the passengers but it wasn't. It also interested me because though the pilots were "skilled", plane crashes kept happening.