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Crisis management at the government offices: a Swedish case study
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8274-6065
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5044-6495
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), CRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training).
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2015 (English)In: Disaster Prevention and Management, ISSN 0965-3562, E-ISSN 1758-6100, Vol. 24, no 5, 542-552 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of crisis management at the Swedish Government office level in an international crisis by using a multiperspective approach, and paying particular attention to factors contributing favorably to the management process.

Design/methodology/approach

The Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption on Iceland in 2010 was accompanied by an ash cloud that caused serious air traffic problems in large parts of Europe. Interviews were conducted with seven high-level informants at the Swedish Government offices and two informants at the Swedish Aviation Authority. An interview guide inspired by governance, command and control, and leadership perspectives was used.

Findings

A Crisis Coordination Secretariat, organizationally placed directly under the prime minister, coordinated the operation. A combination of mandate (hard power) and social smoothness (soft power) on part of the Crisis Coordination Secretariat contributed to confidence building and a collaboration norm between the ministries, and between the ministries and their underlying agencies. Preparatory training, exercises and a high level of system knowledge on part of the Crisis Coordination Secretariat – contextual intelligence – also contributed to a favorable crisis management.

Research limitations/implications

The study relies on retrospective self-report data only from a limited group of informants making generalizations difficult.Practical implications– The organizational positioning of the Crisis Coordination Secretariat directly under the prime minister gave its members formal authority. These members in turn skillfully used social flexibility to build confidence and a will to collaborate. This combination of hard and soft power is recommended.

Originality/value

The multiperspective approach used when designing the interview guide and when interpreting the responses was new as well as the focus on factors contributing to crisis management success.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 24, no 5, 542-552 p.
Keyword [en]
leadership, government, emergency response, crisis management, natural hazard
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden; Statsvetenskap med inriktning mot krishantering och internationell samverkan; Ledningsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5765DOI: 10.1108/DPM-11-2014-0232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-5765DiVA: diva2:893151
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2017-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, GerryBynander, FredrikOhlsson, AliciaSchyberg, ErikHolmberg, Martin
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LedarskapscentrumCRISMART (National Center for Crisis Management Research and Training)Command & Control Studies Division
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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