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Managing knowledge sharing of extreme weather induced impacts on land transport infrastructure: Case study of the Swedish Transport Administration
Karlstad University, Faculty of Health, Science and Technology (starting 2013), Centre for Climate and Safety. Trafikverket. (CNDS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7065-3491
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

Extreme weather events and effects of climate change are threats to the transport sector’s functionality and safety. Risk management in this context implies a necessity to focus on the connection between near-term experiences and coping strategies on one hand, and long-term adaptation analyses on the other. How learning from past events and subsequent knowledge sharing can be adopted is a question that needs to be explored, discussed and tested. A systematic approach to lessons learned calls for measures of investigation, reporting, planning, implementation and evaluation. A qualitative case study approach was used in this thesis. In the first paper the practices of accident investigation in operation and maintenance were inventoried within the Swedish Transport Administration (STA). Three accident investigation methods were applied and tested on a cloudburst event, causing flooding in a railway tunnel in Sweden. In the second paper, semi-structured interviews, documents, and archival records were used as means for penetrating deeper into the attitudes and understanding of lessons learned concerning extreme weather events within a procured public-private partnership. The results of the two studies showed weak signals of feedback on lessons learned. Partly, these weak signals could be traced back to weak steering signals. Various obstacles impeded learning curves from lessons learned. The obstacles were of both hard and soft values, e.g. resources in time and equipment, systematic investigation methods, incentives for lessons learned, education and knowledge, values, norms and attitudes towards how and why identified problems should be solved. Successful knowledge sharing requires that close attention is paid to such obstacles and that an adaptive approach is adopted.

Abstract [sv]

Den pågående och framtida klimatförändringen sätter press på aktörer att möta risker som associeras med klimatförändring. Syftet med denna avhandling är att bidra med kunskap om lärande och kunskapsöverföring inom offentlig förvaltning av landtransportinfrastruktur. Eftersom lärande och kunskapsöverföring är grundläggande för planering och beslutsfattande om strategier och åtgärder som främjar ett robust transportsystem. Målet för detta arbete är att belysa lärande och kunskapsöverföring inom och mellan olika organisationer i det svenska samhället. Det socio-tekniska systemperspektivet - som används som analysram i båda studierna ger en djupare förståelse för bakomliggande faktorer. En kvalitativ ansats, som omfattar intervjuer, deltagande observationer och dokumentanalys, har används i detta licentiatarbete. I den första studien belyses möjligheten att använda sig av industriella utredningsmetoder på naturolyckor i en svensk kontext av en översvämning i en järnvägstunnel. De industriella utredningsmetoderna visade sig vara användbara för utredning av konsekvenser efter skyfall, med olika metodologiska fördelar och nackdelar. Den andra studien utforskar hur Trafikverkets verksamhetsområde Underhåll arbetar med lärande kopplat till väderextremer; hur de fångar upp erfarenheter och kunskap som finns hos kontrakterade entreprenörer, samt hur entreprenörerna uppfattar att lärande och erfarenhetsåterföring sker. Resultatet från båda studierna visar på både svaga styrsignaler och svaga återkopplingssignaler, vilket medför svaga lärandekurvor. Olika hinder sågs ligga bakom med svaga styr- och återkopplingssignaler bl.a. resurser i tid och processer, systematik i utredning av naturolyckor, incitament att lära av varandra, utbildning och kunskap, värderingar normer och attityder till hur och varför identifierade problem ska lösas. Ett adaptivt förhållningssätt innebär att man behöver ta hänsyn till dessa hinder på ett systematiskt sätt.

Abstract [en]

The agreement in Paris in 2015 was an historic manifestation that society has to work with both mitigation and adaptation to achieve a reduction of the adverse effects of climate change. One way to achieve adaptation is through the integration of present coping strategies. A first step is to study the existing processes and routines that support short-term coping. This licentiate thesis targets different aspects of learning as a strategy for coping and building adaptive capacity. Road infrastructure and maintenance in relation to extreme weather are used as the physical context and the Swedish Transport Administration as a case to study. Paper I shows the possibility to apply industrial accident investigation methods to an extreme weather event and get useful insights into underlying root causes. Paper II shows the intra- and interrelated patterns that exist in public-private partnerships (PPP) in Sweden. The paper describes a parallel of systems with infrequent overlaps regarding lessons learned.  In both papers the socio-technical perspective approach was used to highlight aspects of learning from and investigating damage due to extreme weather at different tiers in society. The socio-technical perspective provides an understanding of how decisions and legislation that affect our actions and behavior today may have been taken in different time and space settings. This thesis contributes to concept and theory building regarding the socio-technical system approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2016. , 44 p.35- p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2016:18
Keyword [en]
lessons learned, risk management, climate change adaptation, accident investigation method, extreme weather events, natural hazard, land transport infrastructure, maintenance
Keyword [sv]
lärande, kunskapsåterföring, risk hantering, klimatanpassning, olycksutredningsmetod, naturolyckor, landtransport infrastruktur, underhåll
National Category
Climate Research
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41115ISBN: 978-91-7063-696-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-41115DiVA: diva2:913665
Presentation
2016-05-10, 21A244, Universitetsgatan 2, Karlstad, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration
Available from: 2016-04-21 Created: 2016-03-22 Last updated: 2017-03-07Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Merits of using a socio-technical system perspective and different industrial accident investigation methods on accidents following natural hazards: A case study on pluvial flooding of a Swedish railway tunnel 2013
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Merits of using a socio-technical system perspective and different industrial accident investigation methods on accidents following natural hazards: A case study on pluvial flooding of a Swedish railway tunnel 2013
2015 (English)In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, E-ISSN 2212-4209, Vol. 13, 189-199 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
Feedback, Accident investigation, Socio-technical system, Flooding, Railway tunnel
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37760 (URN)10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.06.004 (DOI)000368928000018 ()
Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
2. Systematic knowledge sharing of natural hazard damages in contracted road maintenance in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systematic knowledge sharing of natural hazard damages in contracted road maintenance in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

In a dynamic society and with expected climate change, it is important, in a resilient perspective, for road authorities to make use of experiences and build knowledge from extreme weather events damaging the infrastructure. The Swedish Transport Administration (STA) is responsible for the state-owned infrastructure but contractors carry out all maintenance of the state road network in Sweden. The tendering process stipulates that the stakeholders should enable knowledge transfer and the flow of information that is inevitably required for the future handling of adverse weather extremes. In this case study of the STA practice, semi-structured interviews with project leaders from the STA and respondents from two tendering contractors of maintenance were used to investigate attitudes to and the understanding of sharing experiences and knowledge of weather extremes.  The aim is to contribute to better risk management through lessons learned in a complex public-private management. The quantitative content analysis shows patterns of sharing experiences from adverse events between organizations, at an individual level. The experiences of weather extremes and damages caused are not fed back through the existing formal template, leading to partial feedback through narrative exchange to the project leaders at the STA. The analysis of the results from a sociotechnical system perspective shows a complex and interrelated inter- and intra-organizational pattern for feedback paths. Furthermore, a picture of parallels emerges, as each organization has its own goals and processes to reach their goals.

Keyword
lessons learned, risk management, climate change adaptation, public procurement, maintenance, roads.
National Category
Climate Research
Research subject
Risk and Environmental Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41043 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration
Available from: 2016-03-15 Created: 2016-03-15 Last updated: 2016-04-21

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