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Learning for safety: Improvements of Swedish authorities’ toolkits for societal resilience

Borell, Jonas LU (2013) In ISRN LUTMDN/TMAT-1026-SE
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna avhandling föreslår förbättringar av vissa verktyg som svenska myndigheter använder för samhällssäkerhet och krishantering; krishanteringsutvärderingar, krishanteringsövningar samt organisatoriska riskbedömningar. Avhandlingen undersöker även hur visualiseringar av säkerhetskulturdata kan stödja utveckling av säkerhetskultur. Forskningen motiverades av praktiska behov och resultaten kan användas för att underlätta och förbättra arbetet för samhällssäkerhet och samhällelig krishantering.

Empiriska data har hämtats från fem olika svenska offentliga organisationer (tre kommuner och två regioner) genom intervjuer, observationer och frågeformulär. Huvuddelen av forskningen har utförts i... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna avhandling föreslår förbättringar av vissa verktyg som svenska myndigheter använder för samhällssäkerhet och krishantering; krishanteringsutvärderingar, krishanteringsövningar samt organisatoriska riskbedömningar. Avhandlingen undersöker även hur visualiseringar av säkerhetskulturdata kan stödja utveckling av säkerhetskultur. Forskningen motiverades av praktiska behov och resultaten kan användas för att underlätta och förbättra arbetet för samhällssäkerhet och samhällelig krishantering.

Empiriska data har hämtats från fem olika svenska offentliga organisationer (tre kommuner och två regioner) genom intervjuer, observationer och frågeformulär. Huvuddelen av forskningen har utförts i nära samarbeten med praktiker. Designvetenskapliga metoder har använts för att nå fram till tillämpbara lösningar på de praktiska problem som motiverat forskningen.

Avhandlingen visar hur brett tillämpbara lärresultat kan uppnås från utvärderingar av enskilda episoder av krishantering. Utvärderingar av krishanteringsinsatser behöver inte nödvändigtvis fokusera på så korrekta beskrivningar som möjligt av vad som skedde. För att stödja utveckling av krishanteringsförmåga bör de i stället kretsa kring alternativa möjligheter. Från en sammanställning av vad som faktiskt hänt kan ett utforskande av möjlig variation medföra brett överförbara lärresultat. Utvärderingsresultat och undersökningar av variation bör spridas till hela organisationen.

Krishanteringsövningar genererar ofta resultat med onödigt smal tillämpbarhet. Den här avhandlingen presenterar ett ramverk som kan hjälpa till att stärka diskussionsbaserade krishanteringsövningars lärandeeffekt. I förberedandet av en övning bör aspekter av verkligheten som antas vara relevanta i framtida instanser av krishantering identifieras. Några av dem bör sedan användas som parametrar i en scenariobeskrivning. Genom diskussioner bör övningsdeltagarna kollektivt ändra parameterbeskrivningen av scenariot. Detta kan medföra delade mentala modeller, och erbjuder variation för de enskilda deltagarna att uppleva. Erfarandet av variation är nödvändigt för lärande och utveckling av förmåga.

Viktiga principer för utformningen av organisatoriska riskbedömningssystem i stora organisationer framförs. Stora organisationer är typiskt hierarkiskt nivåindelade och lateralt delade i tematiska områden. Med sådana strukturer bör första ordningens analyser rörande enskilda organisatoriska enheter utföras enhetsvis på alla nivåer, och andra ordningens analyser med ett systemperspektiv bör utföras för alla aggregerade subsystem upp genom den sammansatta organisationen. I andra ordningens analys behöver data från första ordningens analyser av ingående organisatoriska enheter omanalyseras, med nivåanpassade frågor och metoder. I andra ordningens analys är det inte tillräckligt att bara addera eller slå samman information från första ordningens analyser inom systemet, och kompletterande underlag kan också behövas.

Organisatorisk riskbedömning i stora organisationer möter många kommunikationsutmaningar, som utgör allvarliga hot mot riskbedömningssystemens funktionalitet. Den här avhandlingen presenterar medel mot sådana kommunikationsutmaningar. Till exempel kan skapandet och användandet av delad kunskap, överbrygganden av formella kommunikationsled, användandet av dialog, eller standardisering av delar av kommunikationsarbetet bidra till att reducera hotet från misslyckad kommunikation.

En organisations säkerhetskultur kan utvecklas genom lokalt uppstående förändring, vilket förutsätter att relevant information är tillgänglig för organisationsmedlemmarna. För att stödja sådana förändringsprocesser bör presentationer av insamlad säkerhetskulturdata helst: Underlätta förståelsen av data; Erbjuda relevansstrukturer som passar målgruppen; Tillhandahålla möjligheter att erfara variation; Väcka frågor och inspirera hypotesgenerering; samt Visualisera relationerna mellan olika delar av data. (Less)
Abstract
This thesis suggests improvements of selected parts of the Swedish authorities’ toolkits for societal safety and crisis management; crisis response evaluations, crisis management exercises and organizational risk assessments. The thesis also explores how visualizations of safety culture data can be used to support safety culture development. The research was motivated by practical needs and delivers results that can be used to facilitate and improve efforts for societal safety and crisis management.

Empirical data has been collected from five Swedish public organizations (three municipalities and two county councils) through interviews, observations and questionnaires. Most of the research has been performed in close cooperation... (More)
This thesis suggests improvements of selected parts of the Swedish authorities’ toolkits for societal safety and crisis management; crisis response evaluations, crisis management exercises and organizational risk assessments. The thesis also explores how visualizations of safety culture data can be used to support safety culture development. The research was motivated by practical needs and delivers results that can be used to facilitate and improve efforts for societal safety and crisis management.

Empirical data has been collected from five Swedish public organizations (three municipalities and two county councils) through interviews, observations and questionnaires. Most of the research has been performed in close cooperation with practitioners. Methods from design science have been used to arrive at applicable solutions to the practical problems motivating the research.

The thesis shows how learning results with broader applicability can be achieved from the evaluations of singular crisis responses. Evaluations of crisis responses do not necessarily have to focus on as accurate accounts as possible of what happened. To support the development of crisis management capability they should instead revolve around alternative possibilities. From a summary of what actually happened the exploration of possible variation can bring about broadly transferrable learning results. Evaluation results and explorations of variation should be disseminated throughout the organization.

Crisis management exercises often produce vague results with unnecessarily limited applicability. This thesis presents a framework that can help to strengthen the learning effects of discussion-based crisis management exercises. In preparing exercises, aspects of reality that are considered relevant in future instances of crisis management should be identified. Some of them should then be used as parameters in a scenario description. In discussions, exercise participants should collectively alter the parameter representation of the scenario. This can establish shared mental models and provides variation for the individual participants to experience. Experiencing variation is vital for learning and developing capability.

Important principles for the design of organizational risk assessment systems for large organizations are forwarded. Large organizations are typically hierarchically layered and laterally split into thematic areas. With such structures, first order analyses pertaining to single organizational units and their areas of operations should be performed unit-wise on all levels, and second order analyses with a systems perspective should be performed for all aggregated subsystems up through the composite organization. In second order analysis, data from the first order analyses of constituent organizational units needs to be reanalyzed, with level-appropriate questions and methods. It is not sufficient in a second order analysis to simply add or aggregate information from the first order analyses of the units in the system, and additional input may also be required.

Organizational risk assessment in large organizations faces many communicational challenges, which pose major threats to the functionality of the risk assessment systems. This thesis presents countermeasures to such communicational challenges. For example, efforts to create and use shared knowledge, the bridging of steps of formal communication, the use of dialogue, and the standardization of parts of communicational work can help to reduce the threat of miscommunication.

An organization’s safety culture can be developed through emergent change, which requires that relevant information is available to the organizational members. To support such change processes presentations of collected safety culture data should preferably: Facilitate the comprehension of data; Offer suitable relevance structures to the target group; Provide possibilities to experience variation; Evoke inquiry and inspire hypothesizing; and Visualize relations between different parts of data. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Njå, Ove, University of Stavanger, Centre for Risk Management and Societal Safety
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Societal safety, Crisis management, Emergency management, Learning, Evaluation, Exercise, Risk assessment, Safety culture
in
ISRN LUTMDN/TMAT-1026-SE
pages
74 pages
defense location
Lecture Hall, IKDC, Sölvegatan 26, Lund University Faculty of Engineering
defense date
2013-10-04 10:15
ISSN
1650-9773
ISBN
978-91-7473-651-9 (Printed)
978-91-7473-652-6 (Pdf)
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cae256fe-5a85-45b9-a665-958741372d17 (old id 4006940)
date added to LUP
2013-09-10 10:26:40
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:59
@misc{cae256fe-5a85-45b9-a665-958741372d17,
  abstract     = {This thesis suggests improvements of selected parts of the Swedish authorities’ toolkits for societal safety and crisis management; crisis response evaluations, crisis management exercises and organizational risk assessments. The thesis also explores how visualizations of safety culture data can be used to support safety culture development. The research was motivated by practical needs and delivers results that can be used to facilitate and improve efforts for societal safety and crisis management.<br/><br>
Empirical data has been collected from five Swedish public organizations (three municipalities and two county councils) through interviews, observations and questionnaires. Most of the research has been performed in close cooperation with practitioners. Methods from design science have been used to arrive at applicable solutions to the practical problems motivating the research.<br/><br>
The thesis shows how learning results with broader applicability can be achieved from the evaluations of singular crisis responses. Evaluations of crisis responses do not necessarily have to focus on as accurate accounts as possible of what happened. To support the development of crisis management capability they should instead revolve around alternative possibilities. From a summary of what actually happened the exploration of possible variation can bring about broadly transferrable learning results. Evaluation results and explorations of variation should be disseminated throughout the organization.<br/><br>
Crisis management exercises often produce vague results with unnecessarily limited applicability. This thesis presents a framework that can help to strengthen the learning effects of discussion-based crisis management exercises. In preparing exercises, aspects of reality that are considered relevant in future instances of crisis management should be identified. Some of them should then be used as parameters in a scenario description. In discussions, exercise participants should collectively alter the parameter representation of the scenario. This can establish shared mental models and provides variation for the individual participants to experience. Experiencing variation is vital for learning and developing capability.<br/><br>
Important principles for the design of organizational risk assessment systems for large organizations are forwarded. Large organizations are typically hierarchically layered and laterally split into thematic areas. With such structures, first order analyses pertaining to single organizational units and their areas of operations should be performed unit-wise on all levels, and second order analyses with a systems perspective should be performed for all aggregated subsystems up through the composite organization. In second order analysis, data from the first order analyses of constituent organizational units needs to be reanalyzed, with level-appropriate questions and methods. It is not sufficient in a second order analysis to simply add or aggregate information from the first order analyses of the units in the system, and additional input may also be required.<br/><br>
Organizational risk assessment in large organizations faces many communicational challenges, which pose major threats to the functionality of the risk assessment systems. This thesis presents countermeasures to such communicational challenges. For example, efforts to create and use shared knowledge, the bridging of steps of formal communication, the use of dialogue, and the standardization of parts of communicational work can help to reduce the threat of miscommunication.<br/><br>
An organization’s safety culture can be developed through emergent change, which requires that relevant information is available to the organizational members. To support such change processes presentations of collected safety culture data should preferably: Facilitate the comprehension of data; Offer suitable relevance structures to the target group; Provide possibilities to experience variation; Evoke inquiry and inspire hypothesizing; and Visualize relations between different parts of data.},
  author       = {Borell, Jonas},
  isbn         = {978-91-7473-651-9 (Printed)},
  issn         = {1650-9773},
  keyword      = {Societal safety,Crisis management,Emergency management,Learning,Evaluation,Exercise,Risk assessment,Safety culture},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {74},
  series       = {ISRN LUTMDN/TMAT-1026-SE},
  title        = {Learning for safety: Improvements of Swedish authorities’ toolkits for societal resilience},
  year         = {2013},
}