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Contrasting Perspectives Of Junior versus Senior NASA ISS Flight Controllers On Leadership And Cultural IssuesNASA flight controllers have always worked in a very demanding environment, but the International Space Station (ISS) poses even more challenges than prior missions. A recent NASA/Ames survey by Parke and Orasanu of NASA/Johnson flight controllers uncovered concerns about communications problems between American personnel and their international counterparts. To better understand these problems, we interviewed 14 senior and 12 junior ISS flight controllers at NASA/Johnson about leadership and cultural challenges they face and strategies for addressing these challenges. The qualitative interview data were coded and tabulated. Here we present quantitative analyses testing for differences between junior and senior controllers. Based on nonparametric statistical tests comparing responses across groups, the senior controllers were significantly more aware of the impact of working in dispersed teams, the context of constant change, and the upcoming multilateral challenges, while junior controllers were more aware of language and cultural issues. We consider our findings in light of other studies of controllers and other known differences between senior and junior controllers. For example, the fact that senior controllers had their formative early experience controlling pre-ISS short-duration Shuttle missions seems to have both positive and negative aspects, which are supported by our data. Our findings may also reflect gender differences, but we cannot unconfound this effect in our data because all the senior respondents were males. Many of the junior-senior differences are not only due to elapsed time on the job, but also due to a cohort effect. The findings of this study should be used for training curricula tailored differently for junior and senior controllers.
Document ID
20070001472
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Clement, James L. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Boyd, J. E. (California Univ. San Francisco, CA, United States)
Saylor, S. (California Univ. San Francisco, CA, United States)
Kanas, N. (California Univ. San Francisco, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
Aerospace Medical Association Scientific Meeting(New Orleans, LA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other