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Resilience and vulnerability of small flexible crisis response teams: implications for training and preparation
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8862-7331
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Human-Centered systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2014 (English)In: Cognition, Technology & Work, ISSN 1435-5558, E-ISSN 1435-5566, Vol. 16, no 2, 143-155 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Following the Asian Tsunami of 2004 and during the Israel-Lebanon Crisis of 2006, Sweden sent small crisis response teams to support civilians. The small size of the teams, combined with situations that did not always play out according to expectations and plans, presented a challenge to their resilience-their ability to adapt to circumstances outside of plans made in advance. In this paper, we analyze the experiences of 14 members of Swedish field teams involved in the crises response, based on focus group discussions. We describe a cycle of preparing for role improvisation, of taking improvised roles, of working in them, and of getting out of them when they are no longer a benefit. The discussions revealed that although role improvisation was seen as necessary to get the work done, they also saw a need to manage negative side effects and vulnerabilities of role improvisation in various ways. We discuss training goals based on their experiences, to address perceived strengths and vulnerabilities of role improvisation. We also discuss factors affecting role improvisation, such as a resilience climate of shared attitudes. Our results can be useful for organizations that have or that plan to adopt flexible crisis response teams. Our results can also be of interests to a more general audience with an interest in how practices necessary for resilience can bring negative side effects, for instance, resilience loss in the organization after an initial adaptive stage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer London, 2014. Vol. 16, no 2, 143-155 p.
Keyword [en]
Resilience engineering; Improvisation; Training; Crisis management; Resilience climate; Vulnerability
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106835DOI: 10.1007/s10111-013-0253-zISI: 000334511900002OAI: diva2:720139
Available from: 2014-05-28 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved

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