The Role of the Individual – A Key to Learning in Preparedness Organisations

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The Role of the Individual – A Key to Learning in Preparedness Organisations

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title The Role of the Individual – A Key to Learning in Preparedness Organisations
Author(s) Nilsson, Jerry ; Eriksson, Kerstin
Date 2008
English abstract
A well functioning societal response to crises is benefited by individuals having adequate skills and knowledge. From a municipal perspective this requires the creation of a learning organization. The objective of this study is to determine whether individual municipal employees, who have the responsibility for preparedness planning, reason and act in ways that promote learning about crises and preparedness issues throughout the municipal organization. Analysis of interviews with preparedness planners in six Swedish municipalities on their strategies for preparedness planning, reveal that preparedness planning too often becomes a demarcated activity, restricted to not more than a handful of individuals. This study indicates that one reason for why the preparedness work becomes demarcated is that individuals central to the preparedness planning are not taking on roles for acting in ways that are required in order for a learning organization to be established. 1. Introduction Preparedness planning is a subject that is getting increased attention and the number of articles dealing with difficulties as well as principles for planning is continuously growing (e.g. Carley & Harrald, 1997; Clarke, 1999; Drabek, 1986; Drabek & McEntire, 2003; Dynes, 1983; Dynes, Quarantelli, & Kreps, 1981; Enander, Hede, & Lajksjo¨, 2004; Enders, 2001; King, 2002; Kreps, 1991; Lalonde, 2007; McConnell & Drennan, 2006; Perry & Lindell, 2003; Quarantelli, 1997). The importance of establishing crisis preparedness as a continuous learning process has also been acknowledged (by e.g., Boin, 2005; Boin & Lagadec, 2000; Borodzicz & van Haperen, 2002; Borodzicz, 2005; Dynes, 1994; Robert & Lajtha, 2002; Smith, 2004). However, the question as to what role specific individuals play in ensuring preparedness planning becomes a learning process in organizations, has not been dealt with as thoroughly. In many western countries, the legal system requires the public
DOI (link to publisher's fulltext)
Host/Issue Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management;3
Volume 16
ISSN 1468-5973
Pages 135-142
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Other social sciences::Public sector research
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