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Björn J E Johansson. (2020). Boundary Stories – A Systems Perspective on Inter-organizational Learning from Crisis Response Exercises. In Amanda Hughes, Fiona McNeill, & Christopher W. Zobel (Eds.), ISCRAM 2020 Conference Proceedings – 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (pp. 427–434). Blacksburg, VA (USA): Virginia Tech.
Abstract: Inter-organizational exercises are commonly conducted with the aim to improve overall crisis response system performance. However, there are challenges associated with establishing learning goals for, designing and evaluating inter-organizational exercises. This work-in-progress paper applies a systems science perspective on the Swedish crisis response system with the aim to understand (1) what kind of a system it is (2) what properties or mechanisms enable good system performance?, and, (3) what are desirable training goals for improving the crisis response capability of the Swedish crisis response system? The author suggests that (1) the Swedish crisis response system can be seen as a Complex Adaptive System, and (2) that the focus must shift from exercising organizations' intra-organizational capabilities to adaptive capabilities. The latter can be achieved by designing exercises comprising boundary-crossing activities with the purpose to support the buildup of boundary-crossing competence. Cross-organizational learning can be achieved by identifying, documenting and disseminating boundary stories.