At the fringes of crisis management: Informal aspects of crisis management

This PhD project studies crisis management from a practice theory perspective to capture informal aspects of crisis management.

Snöoväder, snö på bilar, insnöad

The prediction of how ‘good’ organizations are at coping with crises is often based on formal preparedness measures, that is; the extent to which they draw on institutionalized knowledge and rules that could be assessed and compared based on formal policies. What this perspective misses is to consider how crisis management is socially and culturally performed as part of the organization’s everyday work practices. In light of this, the aim of the present thesis is to broaden the concept of crisis management by emphasizing crisis management as a dynamic process depending on the often taken for granted activities in relation to everyday work.

Empirically, the research focuses on non-emergency organizations (NEOs), which is generic term for actors with work tasks that do not normally include addressing crises, but when affected must take the necessary steps to maintain its activities. By selecting organizations from the social sector, the project studies how organizations handle different types of crisis, such as power outages, fires, storms, and the consequences of the refugee situation in 2015, and how these organizations, despite a low degree of institutionalized crisis management skills, handle the aftermath of such events. Theoretically, the thesis uses practice theory to develop a framework with the main goal of accessing informal aspects of crisis management.


Project period



Project leader

Olof Oscarsson

Doktorand|Doctoral Student

010-142 83 64