"The strength of socio-technical systems is that they can change & develop in response to conditions and demands." #readingToday
Since performance variability or ETTOing is an everyday phenomenon, it will rarely itself be the cause of an accident or even constitute a malfunction. But the variability of multiple functions may combine in unexpected ways that lead to disproportionally large consequences, hence produce non-linear effects. Such outcomes are called emergent, as explained in Chapter 6. (The outcomes may, of course, be either positive or negative.) The strength of socio-technical systems is that they can change and develop in response to conditions and demands. But this also makes them intractable in the sense that it is impossible to describe all the interactions in the system, hence impossible to anticipate more than the most regular events. The interactions are mostly useful, but can also constitute a risk.
The ETTO Principle Erik Hollnagel