Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 15 Issue 1 (March 2007), Pages 1-66

Designing Infrastructures: Dilemmas of Design and the Reliability of Critical Infrastructures (pages 42-49)

Critical infrastructures (CIs) are ‘balky systems’ of highly diverse, networked components with such high performance variations among them that there are few modal behaviors that characterize these infrastructures as whole systems. Consequently, they are under‐determined with respect to design principles and the control variables available to operators. These features raise significant reliability challenges in the management of CIs. In particular, formal design strategies increasingly applied to these infrastructures threaten to undermine the skills and cognitive capacities of control operators and middle‐level ‘reliability professionals’ to manage them reliably and safely. We investigate these challenges and propose new design principles to protect and enhance high reliability management in CIs.

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