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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: 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…

2513

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

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Paresh Wankhade and DeMond S. Miller

258

Abstract

Details

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

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