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Introduction : the promise and perils of new technology
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Drew DawsonDrew Dawson, Christopher BearmanChristopher Bearman, Anjum NaweedAnjum Naweed, G Hughes
In the last decade the rail industry has witnessed an unprecedented flow of new technologies predicated on improving the safety and efficiency of modern rail operations. Over the next decade we will see an even greater penetration of these twenty-first-century technologies into an industry where lower levels of technology are still common. The introduction of new technology in any industry or workplace is a complex socio-technical phenomenon and it carries the potential for significant improvement with a justifiable concern about how the technology might also change the nature of work in unpredictable ways. This is especially the case in the rail industry where the historically dominant technologies have been mechanical rather than digital and the dominant organisational cultures are often relatively resistant to change. This book is directed toward those in the rail industry who are charged with introducing new technology and ensuring that we do not fall foul of the law of inadvertent consequence.