Conceptions of Crisis Management Capabilities – Municipal Officials’ Perspectives

University dissertation from Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety

Abstract: In the Swedish crisis management system, the municipalities have a great responsibility. One part of this responsibility concerns preparing for crises by making risk and vulnerability analyses as well as plans for how to handle extraordinary events. Such preparedness planning involves municipal officials and consequently their conceptions of their organisations’ crisis management capabilities. This makes it vital to look into these conceptions more closely and establish whether specific characteristics can be identified. This thesis aims at gaining understanding of how officials involved in preparedness planning in general and vulnerability analysis in particular explicitly conceive of their organisations’ crisis management capabilities. The thesis poses six specific research questions, pertaining to three themes: vulnerability, dependencies and learning. The results show specific characteristics in how officials conceive of their organisations’ crisis management capabilities. These characteristics appear as similarities, variations, and even disagreements. It is argued that the characteristics as well as what explains them must be considered in the development of society’s crisis management systems.

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