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Structure versus freedom of action: Leadership during the rescue operation following the 2004 tsunami
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences. (RCRcenter, RCR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6899-4035
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Emergency Management, ISSN 1471-4825, E-ISSN 1741-5071, Vol. 7, no 3-4, p. 304-322Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical understanding of leadership during a complex rescue operation following a major disaster in a foreign country. The analysis followed a grounded theory approach. Seventeen informants from three Swedish authorities were interviewed on leadership in the emergency handling of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia. A theoretical conceptualisation was developed which includes three superior categories: antecedent conditions, situational constraints and core aspects of leadership. Within the last-mentioned superior category a core variable was identified: a balance between the need for structure and the need for freedom. Leaders who strive to create structure at the expense of freedom of action are less inclined to delegate and more likely to wear themselves out. Conversely, those who strive to create great freedom of action bypass many links in the organisational chain, thus 'short-circuiting' the organisation as a whole.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 7, no 3-4, p. 304-322
Keywords [en]
Collaboration; Decision-making; Disaster; Freedom of action; Leadership; Stress; Structure; Tsunami
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12646DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2010.037014Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-78649383870OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-12646DiVA, id: diva2:377233
Available from: 2010-12-13 Created: 2010-12-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved

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