Juuuuust before the new year, Oscar, Ola and Markus, article became available online. Any curious reader find it here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1461355720980759
A collaborative interdisciplinary project led by Audun Hetland at the University of Tromsö, Norway, received funding (30 Nkr!) from Nordforsk the other day. It is a four-year project, titled “Grappling with Uncertainty in Environments Signaling Spurious Experiential Decisions (GUESSED)”.
Together with other scholars from the nordic countries, Markus will be studying decision-making among backcountry skiers in avalanche terrain by among other means ethnographic methods. More information about the project here: https://www.nordforsk.org/projects/grappling-uncertainty-environments-signaling-spurious-experiential-decisions-guessed
Oscar, Ola and Ulrika Haake received funding (3,2 Mkr!) from FORTE for more studies of the Police. The project is titled:”Den ”civilianiserade” polismyndigheten: Genus, status och professionsgränser inom brottsutredning”, approximately “The civilanized police authority: Gender, Status and boundaries of profession in investigative work” More information about the project here: https://www.umu.se/nyheter/genus-status-och-professionsgranser-inom-brottsutredning_9666344/
In what ways can detective work be understood as a social process? Together with Ola Lindberg and Oscar Rantatalo we explore this question in our recent article “Sensemaking in detective work: The social nature of crime investigation”, accepted for publication in International Journal of Police Science and Management!! YIHOOO!!!!
Last night, Oscar, Ola, and I received the news that Riksbankens jubileumsfond will finance our project “Organizational routines in incident command centers: Improving society’s ability to handle extreme events“!!!
Please find the abstract below.
The project investigates organizational routines in incident command through a comparative analysis of organizations critical to society’s response to extreme events. The purpose of the project is to develop a novel framework for understanding routines and their function as organizations switch to incident command. Further, the project aims to test this framework in the studied organizations. The project’s importance is partly identified by the organizations themselves and partly motivated by the increasing challenges of extreme events generally. Lastly, there is a clearly identified knowledge gap concerning routines in extreme contexts. In extension, the project’s aim is therefore to contribute to society’s resilience in tackling challenges such as climate change, increased migration and terrorism. Incident command work within the provincial- police, armed forces, Security services, and County administrative board (Västerbotten) is investigated through ethnographic methods covering both extreme events and preparation for these events. Each organization is studied by one member of the research team through interviews, observations and document studies. Through a unique cooperative effort in “Knowledge Forum Region North”, the organizations discuss the challenges of incident command with the research team. The knowledge forum also constitutes a test arena for practical application of the theoretical models provided by the researchers.
Mattias, Malin and Virginia have received funding (approx 3000 000 kr; 300 000 Euro) from AFA insurances to study meaningful routines in healtcare! Please find the abstract below and more information in the URLs.
It is well-known that organizational routines play a key role in upholding stability and continuity at work. In primary health care, where the influx of patients with various illnesses is extensive and turnover of staff is increasing, well-functioning routines are even more crucial. However, if the routines are not perceived as meaningful, there is a risk that healthcare professionals will deviate from or just ignore them, which could have hazardous consequences for both patients and staff. Meaningfulness has been shown to be important in promoting resilience, and the ability to manage stress, and thereby reduce sick leave, which are current challenges in primary care. The proposed project is thus focused on “meaningful routines” in primary health care. This means routines that not only enable work to be successfully executed but also provide organization members with a sense of meaningfulness, which is an overlooked area of research. The purpose is to advance the understanding of meaningful routines in organizations. Based on in-depth interviews and four rounds of focus groups with primary healthcare professionals, an understanding of what makes routines meaningful will be developed. This knowledge is above all important for making primary health care more sustainable, but also transferable to other organizations where routines are central in order to maintain stability and safety.
David and Markus paper on the Dark side of team behavior, with lessons from The Walking Dead was recognized by Financial times. FT wrote a long nice piece on the lessons that could be learned, after having spoken to Markus too. Later the piece was picked up by Irish Times. Funny enough Weltwoche also contacted us and wanted a piece, which we of course was happy to provide.
Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/dcfc4718-650e-4f0d-a4cf-93d09214ffdb
Oscar, Ola, and I had the paper “Criminal investigation in rural areas: How police detectives manage remoteness and resource scarcity” in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. Please find the abstract below:
Abstract: This article addresses how rural environments characterized by remoteness impact the work of police detectives in their casework. It reports on an ethnographic study of two investigative departments (working on volume crime and domestic crime) located in Northern Sweden. Interviews (n=27) and participant observations (n=56) were conducted in order to examine how investigators approached and managed rural conditions in their daily work. Findings indicate that police investigations in rural areas are characterized by constraints such as resource shortages, extended setup-times (due to travelling) and challenges in multitasking. The findings identify two main practices for investigating crime in such settings: “Rural investigation” that entails a decentralized approach in which investigators are embedded locally; and “Investigating the rural” that entails a distanced, centralized approach. This article discusses trade-offs and predicted outcomes in crime investigation and highlights how the urban/rural binary divide encompasses a paradoxical tension that investigators must manage continuously.
Keywords: rural policing, crime investigation, police, volume crime, domestic crime.
David Buchanan and my article “The dark side of group behavior: Zombie apocalypse lessons” is accepted for publication in Academy of Management Perspectives (http://aom.org/Publications/AMP/Academy-of-Management-Perspectives.aspx) .
How will groups of survivors behave in a doomsday scenario? Will there be competition for scarce resources? Will they collaborate in reconstruction? We cannot research these questions directly, but we can find clues in four places. First, there are historical examples of apocalyptic events. Second, social identity theory offers explanations of group behavior. Third, there are studies of group dynamics in extreme contexts. We discuss the limitations of those three sources, prompting us to turn to a fictional account in search of ideas. Adopting a narrative theoretical lens, we consider ‘the theory on offer’ in the television series The Walking Dead, which portrays a zombie apocalypse. We find that group behavior is shaped by the nature of survivor group composition, and by the properties of the doomsday context they face. We demonstrate the potential for the emergence of a dark, violent side of group behavior. We illustrate a methodological solution to the problem of researching extreme contexts using ‘speculative fiction’. And we break new ground by exploiting the zombie movie genre, which addresses the ‘failure of imagination’ that can increase society’s vulnerability to unforeseen events. Our analysis has implications for organization theory, and for policy and practice in doomsday scenarios.
Today we had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Derin Kent, a postdoc at Aalto University. Derin spoke on some of his past research but quickly dug into the nitty-gritty details of temporal uncertainty, and how teams of storm chasers keep engaged with their situation. This work left important insights into how such temporal teams negotiate order and pace themselves in the highly uncertain world of chasing down tornadoes that can emerge pretty much at any time, anywhere in some parts of the US.