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Crisis management: psychological challenges for leaders
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum. Institutionen för sociala och psykologiska studier, Karlstads universitet.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Krishantering : psykologiska utmaningar för ledare (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to gain knowledge about how leaders holding the role as crisis manager at the Swedish municipal level perceive and experience crisis management in different phases.

The thesis comprises four papers (Papers I-IV) based on empirical data. The sample consisted of relevant municipal leaders. Paper I, Paper II and Paper IV were based on qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, and Paper III on quantitative data. Paper I presents a theoretical model that highlights the complex evaluations underlying managers’ decisions and actions in real-life crisis situations. Paper II  contributes further knowledge on how to improve evaluation and thus how  learning from crisis experience can be developed. In particular, the importance of evaluation and the value of group reflection in evaluation are demonstrated. Additionally,  Paper II identifies motivational aspects during an event. In Paper III perceived preparedness is analysed in terms of three aspects: perceived municipal preparedness, perceived individual preparedness and motivation. These aspects are explained by different psychological theories and concepts and may serve to understand the  driving forces for motivation to work with and to develop crisis  preparedness.  Paper IV focuses on motivation for preparedness efforts and contributes a model demonstrating the close links between different motivational factors and how these  influence one another, as well as emphasizing the central role of experience and the strong role of personal factors in both supporting and diminishing motivation.

In sum, this thesis demonstrates how psychological theories and concepts are  important for understanding the municipal leaders’ perceptions of their role as crisis managers. In addition, the knowledge gained in this thesis can be useful for  promoting crisis preparedness.

Abstract [sv]

I Sverige liksom i många andra länder har fokus på krishantering ökat. Detta beror till stor del på kriser som har inträffat nationellt och internationellt. Dessa kriser har bland annat föranlett nya lagar inom krishantering. I Sverige är ansvaret decentraliserat till den kommunala nivån och principerna i krishanteringssystemet innebär att kommunala chefer ska planera för och kunna hantera de kriser som inträffar.  Efter krisen förväntas de också lära av händelsen. Totalt har ansvaret och  förväntningarna ökat på dom som ska hantera kriser. Krishantering är dock bara en av många  uppgifter som kommunala chefer har.

Syftet med denna avhandling var att få kunskap om hur chefer på den kommunala nivån uppfattar och upplever krishantering (crisis management) i olika faser.

Avhandlingen består av fyra artiklar (Paper I-IV) med empiriska data som  underlag. Datamaterialet (bland annat intervjuer) i Paper I, II och IV har analyserats med  kvalitativa metoder, medan Paper III (enkätstudie) har analyserats kvantitativt.  Paper I har bidragit med en teoretisk modell som belyser de komplexa bedömningar och värderingar som ligger till grund för chefernas beslut och agerande i en  verklig krishändelse. Paper II bidrar med en ökad kunskap om hur  utvärderingar för  lärande efter en kris kan utvecklas. Analysen visar på att reflektion i grupp  tillför  andra aspekter än gängse myndighetsutvärderingar. I Paper II identifieras också motivations faktorer under en kris. I Paper III har tre olika faktorer av upplevd  beredskap analyserats: upplevelse av kommunens beredskap, upplevelsen av den  individuella  beredskapen samt motivation för beredskap. Dessa faktorer förklaras med olika psyko logiska  teorier och koncept. Resultatet bidrar till förståelsen för drivkrafter för motivation att arbeta med och utveckla krisberedskap. I Paper IV fokuseras motivation för beredskapsarbete. Artikeln bidrar med en modell som visar de nära kopplingarna mellan olika motivationsfaktorer och hur de påverkar varandra. Vidare synliggörs erfaren hetens centrala roll samt betydelsen av personliga faktorer för motivationen.

Sammantaget visar avhandlingen hur psykologiska teorier och begrepp kan bidra till förståelsen för de kommunala ledarnas uppfattning om sin roll som krishanterare. Kunskap framtagen i avhandlingen är användbar vid utveckling av krishantering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University Press, 2018. , p. 66
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:38
Keywords [en]
crisis, crisis management, crisis preparedness, leadership, learning, motivation, municipal, psychology
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8288Libris ID: 2bhkz0sh0bqcwd81ISBN: 978-91-7063-873-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7063-968-5 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8288DiVA, id: diva2:1275015
Public defence
2018-11-16, 11 D 121, Andersalen, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-01-07 Created: 2019-01-04 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. One crisis after another Municipal experiences of severe storm in the shadow of the tsunami
Open this publication in new window or tab >>One crisis after another Municipal experiences of severe storm in the shadow of the tsunami
2009 (English)In: Disaster Prevention and Management, ISSN 0965-3562, E-ISSN 1758-6100, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 137-149Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical understanding of experiences of crisis management among municipal leaders Design/methodology/approach - A total of 16 chief officers and three politicians from three different municipalities were Interviewed concerning experiences of dealing with it severe storm Data were analyzed by a grounded theory approach Findings - Data analysis generated model Central to the model is all evaluation sphere, which reflects tension between everyday circumstances and crisis needs, between assessments of legislation and practices its it support or hindrance. and assessments of human vulnerability versus coping resources Manager characteristics, the societal context within which the event occurred, and crisis characteristics all Influence this evaluation sphere Particular stressors include the fact that the leaders themselves were personally affected by the storm, the difficult decisions and assessments that had to be made, the uncertainty of the situation and the timing, soon after the tsunami Crisis management, decisions and actions can be seen its formed from the evaluation sphere and the Influencing factors Research limitations/implications - The paper has a small sample and limited representativeness Generalizability of the model should be tested in other crisis events Practical implication - The model call be used its a tool to design exercises and its it guideline for authorities, in providing preparedness and crisis support Originality/value - The paper provides, a theoretical model highlighting the complex evaluations underlying managers' decisions and actions lit real-life situations

Keywords
Natural disasters, General management, Decision making, Cities, Leaders, Storms
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-3886 (URN)10.1108/09653560910953216 (DOI)000274440100006 ()
Available from: 2013-06-14 Created: 2013-06-11 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
2. Lull after the storm: municipal leaders reflect on multiple crisis experience
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lull after the storm: municipal leaders reflect on multiple crisis experience
2011 (English)In: Disaster Prevention and Management, ISSN 0965-3562, E-ISSN 1758-6100, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 281-293Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This paper aims to develop a theoretical understanding of how multiple crisis experience affects preparedness issues, and how the learning potential of municipal crisis experience can be developed. The focus is on municipal decision-makers.

Design/methodology/approach - Two group interviews were conducted with a total of 13 municipal Chief Officers and Politicians. Data were analysed by a grounded theory approach.

Findings - A theoretical model is presented, which includes both managers' views on their experiences related to preparedness and how development/revision of crisis can be explained. Experiences are not entirely positive or negative. Managers have developed a good preparedness in some aspects but they are also conscious about shortcomings in their preparedness. The model includes: level one, primary assessments, including strengths and limitations; and level two, reflection, where difficult choices and dilemmas faced are recalled, and future concerns are expressed.

Research limitations/implications - The sample is small and range of experience is limited, since both municipalities studied have been fairly successful in their crisis management.

Practical implications - The findings can be used to develop evaluation and application of crisis experience by individuals and in the crisis management system, and to develop exercises.

Originality/value - The empirical data resulting from this study show the complexity in crisis experience, the need for better evaluation and the value of group reflection in evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald, 2011
Keywords
Crisis experience, Crisis management, Focus groups, Individual behaviour, Leaders, Reflection, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-2190 (URN)10.1108/09653561111141727 (DOI)000293668000005 ()
Available from: 2011-11-18 Created: 2011-11-18 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
3. Perceptions of crisis preparedness and motivation: a study among municipal leaders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceptions of crisis preparedness and motivation: a study among municipal leaders
2017 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 95, p. 83-91Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The need for communities to be prepared for a wide variety of critical events places considerable responsibility on local municipal leaders. However, few studies have examined how these leaders themselves view crisis, preparedness issues. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that contribute to three aspects of preparedness among municipal leaders: perceived municipal preparedness, perceived individual preparedness and motivation for preparedness work. Six hypotheses were formulated. The research questions were investigated using data from a questionnaire sent out to all Swedish municipalities (N = 290) and four categories of municipal leaders respectively (N = 1101). The response rate was 67%. Data were analyzed by linear regression and logistic regression. Different factors predicted the three outcome variables, which indicates different mental concepts. The hypotheses were partly supported and the results are discussed using self-efficacy theory. The findings have implications for understanding perceived preparedness and motivation, and can be used to e.g. develop crisis management exercises.

Keywords
Crisis preparedness, Motivation, Municipal, Crisis managers, Self-efficacy, Mental concepts
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6650 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2017.02.010 (DOI)000399852500008 ()
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
Available from: 2017-03-23 Created: 2017-03-23 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
4. Why worry?: Motivation for crisis preparedness work among municipal leaders in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why worry?: Motivation for crisis preparedness work among municipal leaders in Sweden
2015 (English)In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, ISSN 0966-0879, E-ISSN 1468-5973, Vol. 23, no 1, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Much of the responsibility for societal safety and crisis preparedness rests with local municipal leaders. These tasks are demanding, and often insufficiently prioritized and supported. The purpose of this study was to identify factors influencing motivation to work with these issues, and to explore relationships among such factors. Two datasets, formed the basis of the analysis. From the qualitative analysis, a model was developed describing three main categories of motivational factors: person-related, organizational and activity-related. Actual crisis experience was found to influence factors in all three categories. Differences regarding motivational forces could be identified among different roles among officials. Self-determination theory is applied to the model, illustrating possible ways to influence motivation for work with preparedness issues.

Keywords
Crisis preparedness, Motivation, Crisis experience, Municipal leaders
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5135 (URN)10.1111/1468-5973.12067 (DOI)000349617200001 ()
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved

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