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Ethnography, Customers, and Negotiated Interactions at the Airport
September/October 2002 (vol. 17 no. 5)
pp. 15-23

Air travel has become overwhelmingly complex, problematic, and fatiguing for customers while providing new operational challenges for airlines. These challenges raise an interesting question for researchers: How can we help improve airline operations reliability?

In offering possible answers, the authors emphasize the need to consider the customer as participant, following the human-centered computing (HCC) model. Their study applied ethnographic methods to understand the airline system domain and the nature of airline delays, and it revealed the deficiencies of the airline production system model of operations. Using ethnographic methods in HCC design helps researchers analyze customer trajectories across airline work groups and design new technologies and organizational structures to better support both customers and employees.

Index Terms:
human-centered computing, customer as participant, ethnographic methods, air travel, airline operations reliability, airline delays, HCC design
Roxana Wales, John O'Neill, Zara Mirmalek, "Ethnography, Customers, and Negotiated Interactions at the Airport," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 15-23, Sept.-Oct. 2002, doi:10.1109/MIS.2002.1039828
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