Conference proceedings article

Why bother to plan for crisis : A study of the use of crisis plans during a water pollution incident


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Publication Details

Subtitle: A study of the use of crisis plans during a water pollution incident

Author list: Danielsson, Erna

Publication year: 2012


Objective: This case study elaborates on the theme of crisis planning and addresses the question of the use of crisis plans in actual crises. Using Merton’s concepts, the article considers the manifest and latent consequences of prepared crisis plans. Method: The study is based on data collected during one particular incident, consisting of interviews, notes, and observations at a Municipal Council, County Administrative Board, and County Council in Sweden. Result: The results show that the organizations did not use their crisis plan during the incident. The most important factor was the drawing up of the plan. Even if the plan did not cover the specific set of problems that arose, it helped people think systematically about how to handle this new crisis. Conclusion: The crisis plan’s latent function prepared officials for what to do in an emergency.


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