Rail traffic is controlled by operators working in multiple control centres. Although each of these control centres enjoy quite some autonomy and authority, their activities are highly interdependent. This is especially the case during the management of disruptions. In this study, we look at the role of leader teams with system-wide responsibilities and the task of synchronizing the control centres’ activities. Research on leadership in this multiteam setting of networked control centres, which operate in a dynamic and time-compressed environment, is limited. Hence, this study explores the behaviours and functions of these leader teams during the management of two large-scale disruptions in the Dutch railway system. We will show how various factors influence the ability to provide leadership within this specific real-world context. This study demonstrates that combining insights from the literature on multiteam systems and resilience engineering can contribute to our knowledge of the critical challenges of control in polycentric adaptive systems.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Complex systems, Disruption management, Leadership behaviours, Polycentric control, Railway, Teamwork
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10111-017-0415-5, hdl.handle.net/1765/101142
Journal Cognition, Technology and Work
Citation
Schipper, D. (2017). Challenges to multiteam system leadership: an analysis of leadership during the management of railway disruptions. Cognition, Technology and Work, 1–15. doi:10.1007/s10111-017-0415-5