reducing "Crew-caused"
approach and landing

Pilot-in-charge Monitored Approach

Why focus on ethnicity?

Gladwell's primary focus in developing his "ethnic theory" based on national cultures is on the authority gradient between the KAL Captain and his First Officer and Flight Engineer.  However, he also discusses an example given to him by a very experienced airline Captain, Suren Ratwatte, of a significant operational problem arising in flight.

He notes approvingly that Ratwatte is able to resolve it far more effectively by immediately delegating the PF duties to his First Officer, while handling the complex logistic and communications himself, until he re-assumed control to perform a critical over-weight landing.  This was exactly the finding of the NASA Full-mission simulations some 30 years earlier.

As soon as the problem becomes evident, Gladwell's Captain departs from his airline's basic "Captain is PF" SOP to adopt the "delegated flying" aspects of the PicMA procedure, for exactly the reasons described in the pages here relating to approach management. Elsewhere, Gladwell notes that "planes are safer when the least experienced pilot is flying", because Captains do not have any concerns about being afraid to speak up. So Gladwell's research has uncovered two of the fundamental reasons for using a "monitored approach" procedure.

But having "discovered" that the same solution addresses several of the problem areas he is discussing - authority gradient, workload distribution and communication mitigation - he never asks "why don't pilots do this as a matter of routine?". This is an especially interesting question as the value of "monitored approach" procedures in this respect is the subject of lengthy discussion and a specific recommendation in the NTSB report, which Gladwell gives the impression of having studied in some depth. 

The reason is probably that his actual knowledge of aviation has been obtained in a very restricted environment. The existence of such a possibility is simply outside his limited knowledge of the subject, because he has obtained it from a section of the aviation community which has its own cultural limitations. Incidentally, anyone interested in mistakes in the specifically Korean aspects of Gladwell's analysis should take a look at a 2013 critique by an Korean-American writer.  

PicMA and the NTSB Guam Accident Report.
While many people - pilots and non-pilots - seem to have focused on the "national culture" aspects of the KAL Guam accident, one particular recommendation of the NTSB has been virtually ignored - possibly for reasons that lie in a different aspect of "culture" in the pilot community.
In the report, the NTSB devoted 6 pages (section 1.18.5) to summarising factual material on flight crew decision-making and monitoring effectiveness, including the NASA and NTSB studies already referred to. These studies strongly suggest that operations would be made safer if conducted using procedures in which the Captain initially acts as pilot monitoring during the instrument approach, prior to acquiring visual cues if possible and then taking control for landing. However the NTSB studies did not specifically refer to it as a "monitored approach" [PicMA] procedure.  
Now, in the Guam accident report, it devoted a further 3 pages to analysis of the KAL flight crews monitoring of the approach, and its failure to avert the catastrophe. In doing so it specifically noted that "the monitored approach [i.e. PicMA - author] method provides for more effective monitoring by the non-flying pilot because captains are more likely to be comfortable offering corrections or challenges to first officers than the reverse situation. ............  Monitored approaches decrease the workload of the flying pilot and increase flight crew interaction, especially when experienced captains monitor and prompt first officers during the execution of approaches." 
Noting also that monitored approaches are not appropriate in ALL circumstances, it recommended (Recommendation A-00-10) that the FAA "Conduct or sponsor research to determine the most effective use of the monitored approach method and the maximum degree to which it can be safely used and then require air carriers to modify their procedures accordingly." One might then ask why the "national culture" aspect of the monitoring and cross-checking failures in this accident has received so much attention, while a recognised solution to it, specifically identified in the NTSB's report, has effectively been ignored?  The answer may in fact lie in a different aspect of "culture" in the pilot community.