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The Social Process of Escalation: A Promising Focus for Crisis Management Research

Bergström, Johan LU ; Dekker, Sidney LU ; Nyce, James and Amer-Wåhlin, Isis LU (2012) In BMC Health Services Research 12(161).
Abstract
Background

This study identifies a promising, new focus for the crisis management research in the health care domain. After reviewing the literature on health care crisis management, there seems to be a knowledge-gap regarding organisational change and adaption, especially when health care situations goes from normal, to non-normal, to pathological and further into a state of emergency or crisis.



Discussion

Based on studies of escalating situations in obstetric care it is suggested that two theoretical perspectives (contingency theory and the idea of failure as a result of incomplete interaction) tend to simplify the issue of escalation rather than attend to its complexities (including the various power... (More)
Background

This study identifies a promising, new focus for the crisis management research in the health care domain. After reviewing the literature on health care crisis management, there seems to be a knowledge-gap regarding organisational change and adaption, especially when health care situations goes from normal, to non-normal, to pathological and further into a state of emergency or crisis.



Discussion

Based on studies of escalating situations in obstetric care it is suggested that two theoretical perspectives (contingency theory and the idea of failure as a result of incomplete interaction) tend to simplify the issue of escalation rather than attend to its complexities (including the various power relations among the stakeholders involved). However studying the process of escalation as inherently complex and social allows us to see the definition of a situation as normal or non-normal as an exercise of power in itself, rather than representing a putatively correct response to a particular emergency.



Implications

The concept of escalation, when treated this way, can help us further the analysis of clinical and institutional acts and competence. It can also turn our attention to some important elements in a class of social phenomenon, crises and emergencies, that so far have not received the attention they deserve. Focusing on organisational choreography, that interplay of potential factors such as power, professional identity, organisational accountability, and experience, is not only a promising focus for future naturalistic research but also for developing more pragmatic strategies that can enhance organisational coordination and response in complex events. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
BMC Health Services Research
volume
12
issue
161
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • wos:000306859600001
  • scopus:84864742770
ISSN
1472-6963
DOI
10.1186/1472-6963-12-161
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
de1f496e-515d-4f13-9241-5dbfe75aa394 (old id 2966350)
date added to LUP
2012-08-17 10:56:03
date last changed
2017-09-03 04:24:35
@article{de1f496e-515d-4f13-9241-5dbfe75aa394,
  abstract     = {Background<br/><br>
This study identifies a promising, new focus for the crisis management research in the health care domain. After reviewing the literature on health care crisis management, there seems to be a knowledge-gap regarding organisational change and adaption, especially when health care situations goes from normal, to non-normal, to pathological and further into a state of emergency or crisis.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Discussion<br/><br>
Based on studies of escalating situations in obstetric care it is suggested that two theoretical perspectives (contingency theory and the idea of failure as a result of incomplete interaction) tend to simplify the issue of escalation rather than attend to its complexities (including the various power relations among the stakeholders involved). However studying the process of escalation as inherently complex and social allows us to see the definition of a situation as normal or non-normal as an exercise of power in itself, rather than representing a putatively correct response to a particular emergency.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Implications<br/><br>
The concept of escalation, when treated this way, can help us further the analysis of clinical and institutional acts and competence. It can also turn our attention to some important elements in a class of social phenomenon, crises and emergencies, that so far have not received the attention they deserve. Focusing on organisational choreography, that interplay of potential factors such as power, professional identity, organisational accountability, and experience, is not only a promising focus for future naturalistic research but also for developing more pragmatic strategies that can enhance organisational coordination and response in complex events.},
  author       = {Bergström, Johan and Dekker, Sidney and Nyce, James and Amer-Wåhlin, Isis},
  issn         = {1472-6963},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {161},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {BMC Health Services Research},
  title        = {The Social Process of Escalation: A Promising Focus for Crisis Management Research},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-12-161},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2012},
}