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On collective improvisation in crisis management – A scoping study analysis

Frykmer, Tove LU ; Uhr, Christian LU and Tehler, Henrik LU (2018) In Safety Science
Abstract

Responding to crises requires the ability to meet the unforeseen and adapt to new conditions. The transboundary nature of crises with e.g. increased interconnectedness among critical infrastructures, involving more actors in response, will call for collective coordination. Collective improvisation can be a tool for handling challenges under these circumstances, however the research is limited and dispersed over disciplines. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the capability to improvise collectively in crisis management, and how it affects performance. To achieve this, we conducted a structured scoping study of improvisation in scientific literature and found that existing research is not sufficiently explained or detailed to... (More)

Responding to crises requires the ability to meet the unforeseen and adapt to new conditions. The transboundary nature of crises with e.g. increased interconnectedness among critical infrastructures, involving more actors in response, will call for collective coordination. Collective improvisation can be a tool for handling challenges under these circumstances, however the research is limited and dispersed over disciplines. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the capability to improvise collectively in crisis management, and how it affects performance. To achieve this, we conducted a structured scoping study of improvisation in scientific literature and found that existing research is not sufficiently explained or detailed to fulfill our purpose. Our findings show that individual improvisation seems to be aggregated to a collective level without modifications, and existing methods lack in precision and transparency. Further, there is a need for a more nuanced discussion on improvisation and performance. Implications are that studies on collective improvisation risk measuring individual rather than collective improvisation, if based on existing literature. Moreover, the concept of improvisation is connected to mostly positive outcomes and assumed to have the same meaning for everyone. As a result, one should be careful when using the concept in practice, e.g. when using it as a causal explanation for successful performance, or when suggesting measures aimed at improving the capability to improvise collectively. To move forward, we suggest adopting collective problem solving as a broader analytical frame. Finally, we highlight some theories serving as a starting point for this investigation.

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author
organization
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Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
in
Safety Science
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85044305187
ISSN
0925-7535
DOI
10.1016/j.ssci.2018.02.028
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1c2fa1fb-cdd3-4577-99e6-8b8fd8972521
date added to LUP
2018-04-09 13:32:16
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:54:58
@article{1c2fa1fb-cdd3-4577-99e6-8b8fd8972521,
  abstract     = {<p>Responding to crises requires the ability to meet the unforeseen and adapt to new conditions. The transboundary nature of crises with e.g. increased interconnectedness among critical infrastructures, involving more actors in response, will call for collective coordination. Collective improvisation can be a tool for handling challenges under these circumstances, however the research is limited and dispersed over disciplines. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the capability to improvise collectively in crisis management, and how it affects performance. To achieve this, we conducted a structured scoping study of improvisation in scientific literature and found that existing research is not sufficiently explained or detailed to fulfill our purpose. Our findings show that individual improvisation seems to be aggregated to a collective level without modifications, and existing methods lack in precision and transparency. Further, there is a need for a more nuanced discussion on improvisation and performance. Implications are that studies on collective improvisation risk measuring individual rather than collective improvisation, if based on existing literature. Moreover, the concept of improvisation is connected to mostly positive outcomes and assumed to have the same meaning for everyone. As a result, one should be careful when using the concept in practice, e.g. when using it as a causal explanation for successful performance, or when suggesting measures aimed at improving the capability to improvise collectively. To move forward, we suggest adopting collective problem solving as a broader analytical frame. Finally, we highlight some theories serving as a starting point for this investigation.</p>},
  author       = {Frykmer, Tove and Uhr, Christian and Tehler, Henrik},
  issn         = {0925-7535},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {03},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Safety Science},
  title        = {On collective improvisation in crisis management – A scoping study analysis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2018.02.028},
  year         = {2018},
}