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Organizing after Crisis

The Challenge of Learning

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Edited By Nathalie Schiffino, Laurent Taskin, Céline Donis and Julien Raone

How do actors organize after crisis? Do they «simply» return to normal? The post-crisis phase is anything but a linear process. Actors and their practices may be transformed by learning from crises and by implementing the lessons.
In this volume, 19 contributors from 7 countries analyse how learning happens after crisis in a dynamic political environment where framings, strategies, discourses, interests and resources interact. Exploring various policy sectors, they ask whether and in what ways organizations in charge of crisis management perform well. Where political responsibility is located? What changes do lessons trigger at political, organizational and individual levels? The book answers these questions by addressing issues like blame and responsibility but also the influence of communication, social dynamics and the institutional environment.
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Chapter 2: Crisis: Designing a method for organizational crisis investigation

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CHAPTER 2

Crisis: Designing a method for organizational crisis investigation

Edward DEVERELL and Jonatan STIGLUND

Swedish National Defense College, Sweden

Introduction

This chapter discusses conditions and methods for investigating crisis situations in order to deliver practical knowledge for stakeholders in national crisis management systems. Systematic experience feed-back from crisis is a precondition for resilient organizations and societies and crucial in buffering crisis repetition (Deverell, 2010). Our intention is to increase understanding of different types of crises and major events by using definitions and descriptions from prior research and policy documents to identify and select systematic crisis indicators. Systematic investigation into crises and crisis management is required to increase knowledge of these processes so organizations can draw adequate lessons and learn from these episodes.

We understand crisis and learning as intangible phenomena whose meaning is constructed through social interaction among individuals. Crises are understood and given different meanings in interpretative social interaction processes. The social construction of crises is interchanging and situated in specific historical contexts, in relation to the areas of experience of the individuals, their backgrounds, and located within communities and networks of practice. Learning is to be understood from a specific point of view rather than from a neutral external and objective perspective (Le Coze, 2013, p. 443). Defining learning is tricky as the subject can be seen from several disciplinary perspectives. The concept of learning can entail adaption to environment, the...

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