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Is Best Practice Always the Best?: Learning to Become Better Crisis Managers
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
2012 (English)In: Journal of Critical Incident Analysis, ISSN 1949-1182, Vol. 3, no 1, 26-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article argues for a reassessment of the idea of learning from critical incidents and crises in organizations. Crisis management research looks upon crisis-induced learning as highly desirable albeit immensely challenging. This paper argues that, although learning from crisis is important for crisis management performance, the idea of crisis-induced learning holds an intrinsic contradiction, which becomes one of the main challenges to building crisis management capacities and competencies from lessons learned from previous crisis experiences. As crises are dynamic and evolving processes permeated by uncertainty and elements of surprise, learning from prior crisis experiences will not suffice for an effective future crisis response. Empirical episodes from inductive case studies are used to show that learning from crisis can lead to rigid structures and behavior hampering crisis management and organizational resilience. The study concludes by discussing conditions that need to accompany crisis-induced learning processes in organizations in order to avoid rigidity in future crisis response.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: John Jay College of Criminal Justice , 2012. Vol. 3, no 1, 26-40 p.
Keyword [en]
crisis management, resilience, learning
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och internationell samverkan
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-3027OAI: diva2:578414
Available from: 2012-12-18 Created: 2012-12-18 Last updated: 2012-12-20Bibliographically approved

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Deverell, Edward
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