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Acquisition of Experience-based Knowledge from the Swedish Armed Forces International Missions: A Comparison between Groups and Individuals
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, Command & Control Studies Division.
2010 (English)In: Proc to 7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning, 2010, 360- p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The world is rapidly changing and industrial war has been replaced with "war amongst the people" (Smith 2007, p. 267). Today many armed forces are faced with new responsibilities and are operating in new environments, necessitating a higher ability to identify and implement improvements more rapidly than before (NATO SG, 2008). The Lessons Learned (LL) process helps to suggest solutions to identify shortcomings and facilitates in making positive experiences durable (French Air Forces, 2008). In organizational learning, there is a pronounced need to get hold of important experience, to reduce repetition of mistakes and facilitate for highquality experiences in purpose to improve. Those experiences represent an important input to the LL process, which in the end produces results that will be instilled back into the organisation. A serious weakness in several organizations seems to be that numerous experiences are poorly reported. Unfortunately there is little research conducted in the military field. On the contrary, there is a huge need in several organizations to get a LL-process implemented. This paper will focus on the initial parts in the LL-process, observation, report and some of the early analysis. The aim is to compare group performances with individual performances and ask if groups produce more mature experience-reports than individuals. The study was conducted within the Swedish Armed Forces and all participants were Swedish soldiers earlier deployed on international missions. The participants were asked to report experiences (problems, difficulties) from their assignment, using two different methods. Would method 1, with conditions that facilitate a united effort to generate thoughts and a critical discussion, improve the progress to produce additional or more mature experience reports, compared with individual performances? The results showed that groups produced somewhat higher scaled and more mature reports than individuals. No indication was found that any of the two methods used in the experiment produced an increased number of reports.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. 360- p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Ledningsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-4120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-4120DiVA: diva2:641324
Conference
7th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning, November 11-12 2010, Hong Kong, China
Available from: 2013-08-16 Created: 2013-08-16 Last updated: 2013-08-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Improving incident reports in the swedish armed forces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Improving incident reports in the swedish armed forces
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It is generally maintained that learning should be a part of the daily routines of many organizations; this is often referred to as lesson learned processes. The purpose of organizational learning is to foster improvements that seek to both reduce incidents and accidents and reduce their consequences when they nevertheless happen. Safety work is widespread among many organizations, e.g. aviation, hospitals, process industry, fire departments and several armed forces. A considerable part of safety work involves accident prevention, and aims to investigate why and how previous accidents and incidents happened, in order to learn how to avoid them, or minimize losses when they do occur. The collection of information after incidents represents one of the first steps in a lessons learned process, and the result is crucial for further work. Unfortunately, incident reports often tend to be unfocused (they represent a very wide area of issues) and, for that reason, cannot be clustered. They also frequently lack by analysts required information. The overall research objective in this thesis was to develop a report structure that enables the individuals who participated in or observed an incident to provide more information that is relevant about that incident. The first research question seeks to identify whether the Swedish Armed Forces face the kinds of problems that have been identified in earlier research on attempts to learn from accidents and incidents. The second and third research questions aim to ascertain whether the scope and quality of collected information in incident reports can be improved and if the number of incident reports can be increased. The results agree with earlier research and show that many of the problems that are common in other organizations (e.g. aviation, hospitals and the process industry) can also be observed and are a reality within the SwAF. In addition, the results showed that both scope and quality of collected information can be influenced. Group reporting using a consensus process neither had an appreciable effect on the quality of collected information, nor on the quantity of the reports. On the other hand, the new reporting form, which was based on interview and questionnaire methodology, and to some extent witness psychology, significantly improved the quality of the information collected after incidents. The new form proved to be superior, regardless of the character and context of the incidents. The information collected was also in accordance with what had actually happened and, finally, the form proved to be useful when various military “real world” incidents were reported. Finally, the results also provide new insights into the problems and possibilities associated with acquiring useful incident reports. The problem seems not only to be that people may be unwilling to report incidents that they have participated in or witnessed; it is also that they may be unable to do so. Consequently, it may not be sufficient to change the culture of the organization into a learning culture to receive by analysts required information. It is also necessary to help people report what they actually know by means of an improved report structure.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, 2013. 65 p.
Series
Department of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University, ISSN 1402-3504 ; 1050
Keyword
Incident reports, lessons learned, design science, memory psychology, cued recall, eyewitness testimony
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Ledningsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-3785 (URN)9789174734263 (ISBN)
Available from: 2013-05-02 Created: 2013-05-02 Last updated: 2013-08-16Bibliographically approved

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