Human and organisational performance variability has been identified as a cause of many latent and active failures in maintenance. Seldom has the variability been considered as an integral and inherent part of the maintenance activity to be managed by organisational means. The article deals with the challenge of understanding maintenance work in safety-critical organisations. The aim is to review the current literature on maintenance work and illustrate the organisational research challenges of managing performance variability in maintenance. This article presents six major research challenges in managing performance variability in maintenance. The article concludes by noting that a holistic theory on maintenance work is needed to manage the variability and turn it into a positive force. Maintenance has the potential to produce positive performance variability and guard against negative instability in complex sociotechnical systems.
- Human and organisational factors
- organisation theory
- performance variability
- system safety