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Lull after the storm: municipal leaders reflect on multiple crisis experience
Swedish Defence University, Department of Leadership and Management (ILM).
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. Vol. 20, no 3, p. 281-293
Keywords [en]
Crisis experience, Crisis management, Focus groups, Individual behaviour, Leaders, Reflection, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-2190DOI: 10.1108/09653561111141727ISI: 000293668000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-2190DiVA, id: diva2:457644
Available from: 2011-11-18 Created: 2011-11-18 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Crisis management: psychological challenges for leaders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crisis management: psychological challenges for leaders
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Krishantering : psykologiska utmaningar för ledare
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
crisis, crisis management, crisis preparedness, leadership, learning, motivation, municipal, psychology
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8288 (URN)978-91-7063-873-2 (ISBN)978-91-7063-968-5 (ISBN)
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

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