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Who Commands Whom?: A Discussion on Bottom-up Behavior and its Consequencesin Military Influenced First Response Organizations
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL).
Department of Risk Management and Societal Safety, Lund University.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The rationale behind this paper is to explore and conceptualize the dynamics taking place when bottom-up influenced management meets top-down influenced management in spontaneous reactive first response operations. We employ an interdisciplinary approach based on theoretical perspectives from Systems science, Command & Control science, and Disaster sociology.

In order to stimulate a discussion on theoretical gaps and practical challenges, a model illustrating what we call Command & Control dynamics in spontaneous reactive operations is suggested. The model is applied as a conceptual tool for analyzing the response of the Swedish Police to a terror attack in Stockholm 2017. Both primary data from interviews and secondary data from official investigations are utilized as a basis for the analysis.

We then continue the analytical discussion regarding Command and Control dynamics, and suggest that spontaneous reactive operations give rise to quite different prerequisites for Command & Control compared to planned operations. There is a risk that both academic and practical discussions on how to improve capability do not acknowledge these differences.

Spontaneous reactive operations are likely to initially generate strong bottom-up influences in the Command & Control arrangement of a single organization. Initial decision makers will make rapid decisions and generate a direction that the superior commanders, who are not present from the beginning of the operation, must adapt to. We argue that the intent of the subordinates “restrict” the solution space for commanders on higher levels. Furthermore, we argue that in a spontaneous reactive response there is no specific Commander’s Intent from the start, only a doctrine. This leads us to suggest that the idea on mission tactics in civil operations must be problematized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7318OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-7318DiVA, id: diva2:1189328
Conference
The Third Northern European Conference on Emergency and Disaster Studies, March 21-23
Note

Panel 16: An Integrated Approach to Disaster Response Management

Available from: 2018-03-09 Created: 2018-03-09 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Pettersson, Ulrica

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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