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A Mixed Crew Complement: A maritime safety challenge and its impact on maritime education and training
Malmö högskola, School of Teacher Education (LUT), School Development and Leadership (SOL).
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The human factor/human element starts to have a key role in accidents and incidents during shipments at sea. Investigations show that poor communications increasingly are the root for many tragedies. A possible reason for communication constraints is the growing trend to employ multicultural crews. This thesis aims to document this new challenge in the maritime industry and to endeavour to show how the Maritime Education and Training (MET) can address the problem. The lack of a company crewing policy entails a variation in management standards; it causes confusion. Therefore, it is commonly advised that a common working language be used and expressed in the company policy. It is not only substandard communication that lies behind accidents but also a lack of cultural awareness and “wrong” stereotyping. This is a worrying situation. Researchers in the maritime field have tried to quantify and describe the risks and identify possible benefits with multicultural crews. Disappointingly, the results show a strong disharmony. The industry appears not to be capable of coping with diversity or hesitates to balance eventual advantages with eventual risks. The reason could be that past research studies rather confuse the industry, instead of giving useful guidance. The research strategy, that has been used to find pros and cons in multicultural crews, perhaps has not been the best suited. This thesis aims to propagate for a professionally applied inductive strategy to phenomena related to human factor constraints in the shipping industry. This thesis is also urging MET institutions to conduct courses in cultural awareness and increase the learning goal in English to something more than bare basic. With World Maritime University (WMU) students as the prime research object, it has been found that studying in a multicultural environment is not problem free but instead creates an opportunity to increase the students’ communicative competence. This research study looks at the aspects of psychology, language and pedagogy to conclude that there is a need for courses in cultural awareness. Most likely, multicultural crews in the shipping industry are an irreversible trend. The solutions presented in this thesis focus on communications and cultural awareness and the point made is that, if courses in these two subject areas are not introduced in MET, a mixed crew will continue to be a risk factor hazarding safety at sea. The implication of the results, from a WMU point of view, is that extended understanding of different cultures is a needed subject for both students and teachers. The present, high level of study contact time makes the need for such courses even more important.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Malmö högskola, Lärarutbildningen , 2006.
Series
Malmö Studies in Educational Sciences: Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-6037 ; 3
Keywords [en]
multiculture, communication, shipping, education, teacher, seafarer, context, maritime
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-7647Local ID: 5962ISBN: 978-91-976140-4-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-7647DiVA, id: diva2:1404583
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2022-06-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. An analysis of decision making processes in multicultural maritimescenarios
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An analysis of decision making processes in multicultural maritimescenarios
2004 (English)In: Maritime Policy & Management, ISSN 0308-8839, E-ISSN 1464-5254, Vol. 31, no 1, p. 15-29Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

With three research studies recently carried out the pros and cons of multicultural, multilingual crews have given a ‘second’ food for thought:

1.The Seafarers’ International Research Centre (SIRC): ‘Transnational Seafarer Communities’ and the research, ‘Finding a balance: companies, seafarers and family life’, linked to this []. The latter presented in Maritime Policy & Management, no. 1, January–March 2003.2.The Swedish National Maritime Museum (SNMM): Isolde av Singapore []. This research and sociological documentation will be reviewed in a later issue of Maritime Policy & Management.3.Horck, J., ‘A culturally mixed student body; the WMU experience in fostering future decision makers’ [].There is a growing conviction among seafarers and persons working in the land-based sector of the maritime industry (including ex-seafarers) that staff onboard and on shore should be prepared to work with crews and groups whose members come from different countries and cultures and speak different languages. The problem, though, is which culture will have to surrender and which will dominate? Will a third culture become the norm for common survival? Perhaps to understand oneself and be knowledgeable about others is a better way to avoid eventual conflicts. 

There are nearly no research findings on how a programme should comprise the aims of facilitating comprehension and appreciation of influences, from differences in cultural backgrounds, on group performance and decisions.

This paper reports on the research carried out on students in the Shipping Management and the Maritime Education and Training courses at World Maritime University (WMU). How do post-graduate students holding unlimited certificates of competency, as well as holders of university degrees with experience in the maritime industry and maritime administration, come to a consensus decision?

The findings in this research are discussed in balance with the results from both the SIRC and the SNMM research which is interesting because the results, in some significant issues, are not the same.

A phenomenographic approach has been used to find out that a multicultural group is not free from working problems. Can cultural differences, perhaps, be developed from an assumed hindrance into a catalyst for stimulating national appreciation and cooperation? Perhaps the opposite is true; it might be a bottleneck for improvements in safety as formulated in the STCW95 and the ISM Code.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2004
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-39069 (URN)10.1080/03088830310001642021 (DOI)
Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2021-01-12Bibliographically approved
2. International maritime legislation and model courses
Open this publication in new window or tab >>International maritime legislation and model courses
2004 (English)In: IAMU Journal, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 94-103Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-39070 (URN)
Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2021-04-26Bibliographically approved
3. Why a qualitative research strategy?: A discussion on research strategies, focusing on qualitative research; a challenge for the maritimecluster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why a qualitative research strategy?: A discussion on research strategies, focusing on qualitative research; a challenge for the maritimecluster
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of The 5th Annual General Assembly and Conference International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), 2004, p. 142-154Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-39071 (URN)
Conference
5th Annual General Assembly and Conference International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU); Launceston, Australia, 8-11 November 2004
Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2021-04-26Bibliographically approved
4. Extracts from conversations representing a social constructionistapplication on research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extracts from conversations representing a social constructionistapplication on research
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of The 6th Annual General Assembly and Conference International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) / [ed] Nielsen, D., 2005, p. 407-416Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-39072 (URN)
Conference
6th Annual General Assembly and Conference International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU), World Maritime University (WMU); Malmö, Sweden, 24-26 October 2005.
Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2021-04-26Bibliographically approved
5. Getting the best from multicultural manning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Getting the best from multicultural manning
2005 (English)In: BIMCO Bulletin, Vol. 100, no 4, p. 28-36Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-39073 (URN)
Available from: 2021-01-12 Created: 2021-01-12 Last updated: 2021-04-26Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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