Assessing Interorganizational Crisis Management Capability: A Systematic Literature Review

Assessing Interorganizational Crisis Management Capability: A Systematic Literature Review

Magdalena Granåsen (Swedish Defence Research Agency, Linköping, Sweden), Mari Olsén (Swedish Defence Research Agency, Linköping, Sweden), Per-Anders Oskarsson (Swedish Defence Research Agency, Linköping, Sweden) and Niklas Hallberg (Swedish Defence Research Agency, Linköping, Sweden and School of Computer Science and Communication, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden)
DOI: 10.4018/IJISCRAM.2019070103
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Abstract

To strengthen the capability of societies to manage severe events, it is vital to understand what constitutes crisis management capability and how this can be assessed. The objective of this article is to explore how interorganizational crisis management capability has been assessed in the scientific literature. A systematic literature review was performed, resulting in a dataset of 83 publications. A thematic analysis resulted in nine themes of crisis management capability being identified, where interaction was the largest one. Analyses resulted in a comprehensive overview of assessment methods within the themes. The evaluation methods were mainly applied on real cases rather than exercises. The present article contributes with an increased understanding of how crisis management capability is evaluated, as well as applicability and limitations of different methodological approaches. This insight is essential in order to conduct a valid assessment of crisis management capability and design exercises that increase this capability.
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Background

Disasters, emergencies or crises - three interrelated terms referring to events that are sudden, unexpected, extraordinary, unpredictable, and affect societal functions (Al-Dahash, Thayaparan, & Kulatunga, 2016). Such events mostly demand immediate action, suspension of ordinary procedures, decision-making based on uncertain information, and coordinated action (Scholl & Carnes, 2016). Crisis management organizations need to respond to a range of different needs during the acute phase and coordinate available resources (Bergström, Uhr, & Frykmer, 2016). Coordination is needed to make use of the actors’ capabilities (Ekman & Uhr, 2015). Without coordination, resources are more likely to hinder than support each other. Crisis management systems are based on both private and public organizations that work on local, regional and national levels. Interorganizational collaboration during a crisis is demanding due to the mix of different organizational cultures, structures, methods, ambitions and communication technologies.

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