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Article
Publication date: 28 November 2018

Jarle Lowe Sorensen, Eric D. Carlström, Leif Inge Magnussen, Tae-eun Kim, Atle Martin Christiansen and Glenn-Egil Torgersen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived effects of a maritime cross-sector collaboration exercise. More specifically, this study aims to examine whether past…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived effects of a maritime cross-sector collaboration exercise. More specifically, this study aims to examine whether past exercise experience had an impact on the operative exercise participant’s perceived levels of collaboration, learning and usefulness.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a non-experimental quantitative survey-based study. A quantitative methodology was chosen over qualitative or mixed-methods methodologies as it was considered more suitable for data extraction from larger population groups, and allowed for the measurement and testing of variables using statistical methods and procedures (McCusker and Gunaydin, 2015). Data were collected from a two-day 2017 Norwegian full-scale maritime chemical oil-spill pollution exercise with partners from Norway, Germany, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden. The exercise included international public emergency response organizations and Norwegian non-governmental organizations. The study was approved by the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (ref. 44815) and the exercise planning organization. Data were collected using the collaboration, learning and utility (CLU) scale, which is a validated instrument designed to measure exercise participant’s perceived levels of collaboration, learning and usefulness (Berlin and Carlström, 2015).

Findings

The perceived focus on collaboration, learning and usefulness changed with the number of previous exercises attended. All CLU dimensions experienced decreases and increases, but while perceived levels of collaboration and utility reached their somewhat modest peaks among those with the most exercise experience, perceived learning was at its highest among those with none or little exercise experience, and at its lowest among those with most. These findings indicated that collaboration exercises in their current form have too little focus on collaborative learning.

Research limitations/implications

Several limitations of the current study deserve to be mentioned. First, this study was limited in scope as data were collected from a limited number of participants belonging to only one organization and during one exercise. Second, demographical variables such as age and gender were not taken into consideration. Third, limitation in performing a face-to-face data collection may have resulted in missing capturing of cues, verbal and non-verbal signs, which could have resulted in a more accurate screening. Moreover, the measurements were based on the predefined CLU-items, which left room for individual interpretation and, in turn, may cause somewhat lower term validity. As the number of international and national studies on exercise effects is scarce, it is important to increase further knowledge and to learn more about the causes as to why the perceived effects of collaboration exercises are considered somewhat limited.

Practical implications

Exercise designers may be stimulated to have a stronger emphasis on collaborative learning during exercise planning, hence continuously work to develop scripts and scenarios in a way that leads to continuous participant perceived learning and utility.

Social implications

Collaboration is established as a Norwegian national emergency preparedness principle. These findings may stimulate politicians and top crisis managers to develop national collaboration exercise script guidelines that emphasize collaborative learning and development.

Originality/value

This study shows how exercise experience impacted participant’s perceived levels of collaboration, learning and usefulness. Findings indicated that collaboration exercises in their current form have too little focus on collaborative learning.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

Johan M. Berlin and Eric D. Carlström

The purpose of this paper is to study why collaboration among police, fire, and ambulance services is minimised at accident scenes.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study why collaboration among police, fire, and ambulance services is minimised at accident scenes.

Design/methodology/approach

Observations and semi‐structured interviews were carried out during 2007‐2008. The data material comprises a total of 248 hours of observations on 20 occasions and 57 interviews with 80 people.

Findings

The study identifies the difference between rhetoric and practice in connection with accident work. Collaboration is seen as a rhetorical ideal rather than something that is carried out in normal practice. Asymmetry, uncertainty and lack of incentives are important explanations as to why only limited forms of collaboration are actually implemented.

Research limitations/implications

The paper shows a distinction between collaboration as rhetoric and practical collaboration at accident scenes.

Practical implications

The article proposes a multi‐faceted collaboration concept. In this way, collaboration can be developed and refined.

Originality/value

The results of the study show that police, fire, and ambulance services want to develop excellent forms of collaboration at the accident scene, but avoid this as it leads to uncertainty and asymmetries and because of a lack of incentives. However, simpler forms of collaboration may be realistic in the organisation of everyday work at accident scenes.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Annika Andersson, Eric D. Carlstrom, Bengt Ahgren and Johan M. Berlin

– The purpose of this paper is to identify what is practiced during collaboration exercises and possible facilitators for inter-organisational collaboration.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify what is practiced during collaboration exercises and possible facilitators for inter-organisational collaboration.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with 23 participants from four collaboration exercises in Sweden were carried out during autumn 2011. Interview data were subjected to qualitative content analysis.

Findings

Findings indicate that the exercises tend to focus on intra-organisational routines and skills, rather than developing collaboration capacities. What the participants practiced depended on roles and order of arrival at the exercise. Exercises contributed to practicing leadership roles, which was considered essential since crises are unpredictable and require inter-organisational decision making.

Originality/value

The results of this study indicate that the ability to identify boundary objects, such as injured/patients, was found to be important in order for collaboration to occur. Furthermore, lessons learned from exercises could benefit from inter-organisational evaluation. By introducing and reinforcing certain elements and distinct aims of the exercise, the proactive function of collaboration exercises can be clarified.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Eric D. Carlström and Inger Ekman

The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between organisational cultures and the employee's resistance to change at five hospital wards in Western Sweden. Staff had…

17739

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between organisational cultures and the employee's resistance to change at five hospital wards in Western Sweden. Staff had experienced extensive change during a research project implementing person‐centred care (PCC) for patients with chronic heart failure.

Design/methodology/approach

Surveys were sent out to 170 nurses. The survey included two instruments – the Organisational Values Questionnaire (OVQ) and the Resistance to Change Scale (RTC).

Findings

The results indicate that a culture with a dominating focus on social competence decreases “routine seeking behaviour”, i.e. tendencies to uphold stable routines and a reluctance to give up old habits. The results indicate that a culture of flexibility, cohesion and trust negatively covariate with the overall need for a stable and well‐defined framework.

Practical implications

An instrument that pinpoints the conditions of a particular healthcare setting can improve the results of a change project. Managers can use instruments such as the ones used in this study to investigate and plan for change processes.

Originality/value

Earlier studies of organisational culture and its impact on the performance of healthcare organisations have often investigated culture at the highest level of the organisation. In this study, the culture of the production units – i.e. the health workers in different hospital wards – was described. Hospital wards develop their own culture and the cultures of different wards are mirrored in the hospital.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Eric D. Carlström

This article aims to examine middle managers in health care and how their role has changed in times of fiscal constraints. It seeks to focus particularly on how cost savings…

2113

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to examine middle managers in health care and how their role has changed in times of fiscal constraints. It seeks to focus particularly on how cost savings influence the position of middle managers in the organisation between governance and advocacy pressure.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 25 Swedish middle managers from public health care organisations during fiscal constraints were interviewed about what contributes to their positioning in the organisation.

Findings

The loyalty of middle managers is tested in the “in between” role. Excessive loyalty, in any direction, can distance a middle manager from their expected position. In times of a weakening economy, middle managers are expected to be a tool that is used by the management to communicate savings, personnel reductions, redundancies and closures. This contributes to middle managers sliding out of their role in between.

Practical implications

Middle managers’ skills are within care itself. In times of cost savings, demands are placed on their ability to handle advanced management tasks. They need to gain a clearer insight into management control, understanding conflict management and leadership.

Originality/value

The article explains not only why middle managers slide up (take on governance roles) and down (take on advocacy roles) in the organisation, which has been described previously. It also explains why middle managers slide out (abdicate responsibility) of the role between governance and advocacy during times of fiscal limitations.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Johan M. Berlin, Eric D. Carlström and Håkan S. Sandberg

There is a tendency in team research to employ concepts of stepwise models, reaching from the primitive to the excellent, to suggest that a higher level of evolution is better…

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Abstract

Purpose

There is a tendency in team research to employ concepts of stepwise models, reaching from the primitive to the excellent, to suggest that a higher level of evolution is better than the basic and simple. This tendency includes typologies of teams. This article aims to question the relevance of this view.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in three steps. In the first step, articles and books analyzing teams and teamwork from stepwise analytical models were collected. In the second step the collected data were classified into different themes. Each stepwise model was classified into one essential denomination. This classification resulted in eight themes. In the third step each theme was analyzed, which led to the fusion of some of the themes.

Findings

The conclusion is that a synchronous, complementary or mature team is not necessarily optimal. Contrary to this, a differentiated, sequential or multi team approach can be optimal for some purposes. Team research needs to establish a more open, inductive and critical attitude than at present.

Originality/value

The paper highlights the need to observe and use team theories in a balanced and critical way.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 August 2010

Johan M. Berlin and Eric D. Carlström

Earlier studies have identified artefacts, but have only to a lesser degree looked at their effects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how artefacts contribute to…

1266

Abstract

Purpose

Earlier studies have identified artefacts, but have only to a lesser degree looked at their effects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how artefacts contribute to organisation.

Design/methodology/approach

A trauma team at a university hospital has been observed and its members interviewed.

Findings

The trauma team showed itself to be rich on artefacts since it had strong internal driving forces, high legitimacy, and tried to live up to high expectations from the outside. Its members were motivated to be in the forefront of trauma care. Through renewal, the team succeeded in maintaining demarcation. It also succeeded in systemising internal work tasks and made for itself a position in relation to the outside. The team's capacity, however, came to be limited by internal conflicts and battles for prestige.

Practical implications

The study shows that informal logic has a strong influence on teams. Teamwork contributed to the development of organisational structure and motivation for the personnel.

Originality/value

Earlier studies advocate the important role of artefacts in order to communicate, collaborate, negotiate or coordinate activities. The conclusion is that artefacts also have an organising and developing effect on teams in a fragmented and differentiated healthcare.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2012

Eric D. Carlström

The purpose of this paper is to identify middle managers' strategies during changed accounting conditions.

2346

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify middle managers' strategies during changed accounting conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Middle managers from hospitals, primary care and community care were interviewed about their strategies during change processes. Each middle manager selected changes that had played the greatest part in a ten‐year period.

Findings

Each change was dominated by one strategy that corresponded to the tactics of middle managers during change. They questioned new control models, they experimented with smart budget strategies and they implemented new IT technology. These strategies formed transitions in a continuous circular change model based on Hinings and Malholtra. The study points to two key findings. First, strategies that can be perceived as irrational are organised within a context of plausible explanations; and second, middle managers in public organisations are likely to adopt innovations supported by management policy voluntarily and to question or even reject those prohibited.

Research limitations/implications

Criticism may be directed towards the fact that the theoretical model presented in the analysis has an element of determinism. In the model, the managers' control strategies are given limited influence. The theoretical model's strength is that it measures the development in slow‐to‐change public organisations with long histories and deeply rooted practices.

Practical implications

The results can be used to understand the motives of the middle managers' strategies for change. It provides support to management that hesitates between defending a well‐established but criticised organisational model, and implementing new and untested approaches.

Originality/value

Theoretical change models frequently originate from a management perspective or differentiate between “top‐down” and “bottom up” change. In this paper, change is regarded as a generalised process where different phenomena are connected. This forms a circular model that moves between stable phases without change and transformative phases of major change.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Elsa Kristiansen, Jarle Løwe Sørensen, Eric Carlström and Leif Inge Magnussen

This case study maps the perceived collaboration between public, private and volunteer organizations during maritime crisis work, with a substantive focus on communication…

Abstract

Purpose

This case study maps the perceived collaboration between public, private and volunteer organizations during maritime crisis work, with a substantive focus on communication, information flow and distribution of activities. The exercise studied was held in the far north in Norway. It was estimated to be Europe’s most extensive exercise in 2016. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected through observations, semi-structured interviews and reviews of associated frameworks and evaluation reports. Data were collected simultaneously at five different sites.

Findings

The key findings showed an intra-organizational focus, a predominance of drills and different informal exercises instead of a cohesive exercise. This made evaluation difficult. Reasons for the fragmentation of the exercise appear to be the size of the exercise and the script.

Research limitations/implications

Generalization of findings is problematic as this study involved only one exercise. However, this study has national significance, as it involved 22 public, private and volunteer stakeholder organizations, including civil emergency response units, the military, the Norwegian Civil Defence, and major maritime volunteer organizations such as the Norwegian Society for Sea Rescue. Collaboration between actors suffered from the size of the exercise. A smaller exercise, less dependency on predetermined scripts, and more receptivity toward improvisation could improve collaboration.

Originality/value

The study shows how collaboration fails as an effect of strict agendas and scripts to accomplish an impressive but complex and oversized exercise.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 December 2017

Leif Inge Magnussen, Eric Carlstrøm, Jarle Løwe Sørensen, Glenn-Egil Torgersen, Erlend Fritjof Hagenes and Elsa Kristiansen

This research investigates the perceived collaboration between public, private, and volunteer organisations during maritime crisis work, with an emphasis on learning and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This research investigates the perceived collaboration between public, private, and volunteer organisations during maritime crisis work, with an emphasis on learning and collaboration. The purpose of this paper is to investigate participants’ perceived collaboration training in relation to learning and usefulness.

Design/methodology/approach

The exercise studied in this research was run in the far North in Norway. It was estimated by the participants to be Europe’s most extensive exercise in 2016. Mixed methods research approach was applied, i.e. on-site observations, photos and interviews were conducted during the exercise. After the exercise, an online survey was distributed to emergency personnel holding different positions in conjunction with this exercise.

Findings

As reported, the exercise contributed to new insights on the relationship between collaboration and learning. The study showed that collaborative elements in exercises contribute to perceived learning (R=0.86, R2=0.74), and that learning in turn had a perceived beneficial effect on actual emergency work (R=0.79, R2=0.62).

Research limitations/implications

The possible research implications from this study include more focus on collaboration and new training schemes that could increase learning and usefulness.

Practical implications

Collaboration between actors seemed to suffer from the size of the exercise. A smaller exercise, less dependency on predetermined scripts, and more receptivity towards improvisation could improve collaboration.

Social implications

Increased awareness on the outcomes of collaboration exercise might increase their learning and usefulness, providing societies with improved rescue services.

Originality/value

This research implies that increased perceived collaboration has an effect on learning and usefulness in maritime exercises.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

1 – 10 of 23