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  • 1. Biedenbach, Thomas
    et al.
    Svensson, Martin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Blissful ignorance: The transfer of responsibility in response to lack of competence2015Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Lanander, Maximillian
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Uncertainty Management for Knowledge Maturity in a High-Consequence Industry2017Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In industries where risks involve high consequences, uncertainties are cause for concern, espe-cially in early stages of producing a product or service when less is known about the final de-sign. To counteract this, uncertainties must be managed during evaluations to reach the best decision possible. The purpose of this research is to assert how to manage uncertainties in the early stages of designing a product or service for a high-consequence risk company using the concept of knowledge maturity and descriptive decision based methods to assess uncertainty. As such, it was assessed how a high-consequence risk company deals with and manages un-certainties in early product development. It was then determined how uncertainties could be managed in design engineering. This was fulfilled by conducting semi-structured interviews with staff at GKN, an aerospace company that deals with extensive uncertainties in a high-consequence industry. To complement this, literary reviews were conducted encompassing uncertainty assessments in design engineering. The findings showed that uncertainty in the early stages of design is either lingered on until more information is made available or circum-vented by developed mitigation plans. It was also discovered how evaluations are carried out in early design considering uncertainty. Lastly the findings implicate that uncertainty assess-ments are applicable through use of descriptive decision based models coupled with a knowledge maturity scale in a stage gated process.

  • 3. Netz, Joakim
    et al.
    Svensson, Martin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Brundin, Ethel
    Adaptive strategizing: The role of affective expressions for effective crisis management.2015In: Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study sets out to investigate the role of affectivity in crisis management groups and its connection to effective crisis management. We studied the affective reactions in 23 crisis management groups in a major global corporation that participated in a global training program of crisis management. Our results elucidate a condition of asymmetrical affectivity, where positive expressions are associated with negative outcomes and negative expressions are associated with positive outcomes when groups commit to making sense of a crisis. These patterns were moderated by prior crisis experience at the organizational level as well as managerial behavior at the individual level. To explain this multi-level and dynamic complexity of crisis management effectiveness, we theorize a model of adaptive strategizing building on the strategy-as-practice perspective. The model contributes to the strategic management literature on organizational crisis, and especially the stream that focuses on social-emotional aspects of crisis management, by explaining why some organizations’ crisis management groups strategize more effectively than others.

  • 4.
    Svensson, Martin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Management.
    Managing Negative Emotions in Emergency Call Taking: A Heat-Model of Emotional Management2011In: What Have We Learned? Ten Years On / [ed] Charmine E.J. Härtel, Neal M. Ashkanasy, Wilfred J. Zerbe, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011, p. 257-286Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter focuses on management of emotions in an emergency setting. More specifically, how do emergency call takers manage double-faced emotional management – i.e., their own and the caller's emotions – simultaneously? By triangulating interviews, observations, and organizational documentation with theories on emotional management multiple strategies were identified. The range of strategies included hiving (selecting and modifying) calls, elaborating on (by deploying attention and reshaping/reappraising) content of calls, auralizing (by externalizing an emotional barrier) as well as taming emotional expression. The set of emotional management strategies are concluded in a Heat-model. The model is further discussed in terms of performance efficiency; in terms of how emotional aspects may interfere with decision-making capabilities as well as how wellbeing can be maintained for call takers.

  • 5.
    Svensson, Martin
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Gould, Rachael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
    Hurdles to Clear: Cognitive Barriers in Sustainable Product Development2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Product development is a phased decision making process that is difficult to manage, for example, due to lack of knowledge in the early phases when design freedom is high. The management becomes even more challenging when adding the new, complex and potentially long range considerations of sustainability to decision making in product development.

    More explicitly, the management challenge is manifested in that product developers initially know little about the design problem, which is when they have highest design freedom. Later, when the product developers have acquired more knowledge about the design problem, design freedom has diminished. In sum, this paradox illustrates two challenging situations in which product developers undertake decision-making – low knowledge and high freedom, and higher knowledge and lower freedom. With the addition of time pressure, these challenging decision making situations lead product developers to become susceptible to relying on heuristics, and prone to systematic errors and biases.

    In our study, we aim to outline and understand which cognitive shortcomings are involved and create potential problems in development of more sustainable products. We do so by asking the question ‘Which cognitive barriers are most relevant when incorporating sustainability considerations into product development?’ Out of four identified categories of product development decisions - concept development, supply chain design, product design, and production ramp-up and launch – we focus on the first three as they are categories of decisions where product developers may try to incorporate sustainability. To address this question, we used the rich psychology literature on cognitive shortcomings to identify which barriers are particularly relevant in the decision-making context described by the literature on product development and decision-making for sustainability.

    We contribute to the practice of people developing decision support for sustainable product development by increasing awareness of cognitive barriers that are particularly relevant in this context. Theoretically, we contribute with increased understanding regarding how different cognitive barriers may be influential under certain phases, and not under others – a matter which underpins a forthcoming discussion on how clusters of cognitive shortcomings may affect outcomes of including sustainability in the product development process.

  • 6.
    Svensson, Martin
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Management.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Listen! On audiobased sensemaking in emergency call taking practice2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergency call taking is a high-stake situation where errorless decisions must be made under ambiguous, emotionally volatile and time-critical conditions. The primary mean for communication, the telephone, restricts call takers to a single modality—their hearing—making information gathering difficult.  Through an in- situ study, using interviews, observations and archival records, we develop understanding of call takers every day decision practices. Emergency call takers emphasize the role of sociomaterial cues, such as background sounds of the context and emotional cues, referring to the state of the caller, when making sense of emergency calls. More specifically, they engage in matching and mismatching of non-verbal cues, facets that constitute building blocks for decoupled and coupled sensemaking processes. Theoretical and practical implications of such single modal sensemaking are further discussed.

  • 7.
    Svensson, Martin
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Hällgren, Markus
    The Practice of Listening: (Dis-)embodied Sense Making in Emergency Call Taking.2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emergency call taking is a high-stake situation where errorless decisions must be made swiftly—often under ambiguous, emotionally volatile and time-critical conditions. The use of the telephone restricts operators to a single modality—their hearing—hindering multiple sensory perception.  Through an in-situ study, using observations, interviews and archival records, we develop understanding of operators every day decision practices. Emergency operators emphasize the role of sociomaterial cues, such as background sounds and the emotional state of the caller, when making sense of emergency calls. More specifically, they engage in matching and mismatching of non-verbal cues, facets that constitute building blocks for contraction and broadening of the sensemaking frame. Theoretical and practical implications of such single modal sensemaking are further discussed.

  • 8.
    Svensson, Martin
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Industrial Economics.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Rationalizing emotions and emotionalizing reason: The staging of decisions in the ED2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the setting of healthcare in general, and medical Emergency Departments (ED) in specific, decision-making is at the core of almost all activities—ranging from simple medical prescriptions to crucial decisions in life and death situations. Despite the far-reaching rational traditions and objective assumptions characterizing the ED, it has lately been acknowledged that the everyday decision-making involves much more than a simple analytical action-reaction sequences. In order to disambiguate symptoms, doctors need for example to balance on the one side, intuition and emotion-laden (non-reason based) decisions and on the other side, rational (reason based) decisions. For instance, to sensitize clinicians to non-verbal information, such as an odour, may provide an additional information that otherwise could have been overseen. The shifting between different modes (reason and non-reason based) also happens in interaction with others, through means of different channels, and in different locations. Decision-making in the ED therefore become staccato paced rather than distinct and flowing, which also implies that the decision-making skills do not take place in a vacuum, but are rather bound to restrictions of the context in which they take place. How the ED context as such, and the shifting between different modes, influences and shapes the enactment of medical decisions, is however less clear. Based on an in-depth qualitative study conducted at the Stanford Hospital and Clinics’ Emergency Department, the purpose is therefore to describe and analyze how the medical decision-making process unfolds, is staged, and shaped by contextual logics. Theoretically, the paper takes its departure in the psychological decision-making literature. Empirically, the paper is based on more than 200 hours of participant observation, document collection, and semi-structured interviews, which was analyzed using a template-based approach. Through the analysis, two different logics are identified—one ‘backstage logic’ and one ‘front-stage logic’—that both, but in different ways, shape how the decision-making process unfolds and the decisions are staged. The two logics have their underpinnings in dualistic assumptions of traditional decision-making literature, but are context dependent enactments rather than being based on information processing and individual capabilities. Through the logics we explain how Doctors may uphold a professional role, under both institutional and individual decision-making pressures, but also create a sense of public security to meet the widespread expectations of healthcare being a ‘precise science’. By that, we contribute with an enhanced understanding of how reason and non-reason based elements intertwine and serve a purpose for both caregivers and patients. In turn, this helps in bridging the caregivers’ and patients’ sometimes different perspectives by creating realistic assumptions about how medical decisions are made in practice. The study advances our understanding beyond a dualistic and personal emotion versus rationality dichotomy by emphasizing decisions as blends of non-reason and reason-based process by enclosing personal and relational conditions. Such a contextualization is valuable as it increases understanding of that decision-making processes is about more than providing ‘the right’ answer. 

  • 9.
    Svensson, Martin
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Management.
    Lindström, Erik
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Management.
    Vocal emotional expressions: Proxies for decision making in emergency calls?2012In: Individual Sources, Dynamics, and Expressions of Emotion (Research on Emotion in Organizations / [ed] Wilfred J. Zerbe, Neal M. Ashkanasy, Charmine E.J. Härtel, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012, p. 227-248Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter focuses on whether perceived emotional intensity and help need is possible to discriminate in expressions of fear and neutrality in brief authentic emergency calls. Extraction of acoustic parameters of fear and neutrality was done prior to letting participants listen to a low-pass-filtered stimuli set. Participants discriminated fear and neutrality in both the intensity and help need condition. In turn, judged intensity and judged help need correlated strongly, with partial correlations indicating that participants use acoustically measured intensity (mean dB) as information to infer the intensity/help need relationship. We also discuss the implications of emotional expression in the call centre domain.

  • 10.
    Svensson, Martin
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Management.
    Westelius, Alf
    @ the emotional verge: When enough is enough in email conversations2013In: Individual Sources, Dynamics, and Expressions of Emotion / [ed] Wilfred J. Zerbe, Neal M. Ashkanasy, Charmine E.J. Härtel, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Emailing does not preclude emotional exchange and many times it causes us to engage in spiralling exchanges of increasingly angry emailing. The purpose of this chapter is threefold: to explore how factors of temporality are related to anger when emailing, to model circumstances that protect against, but also ignite, anger escalation, and to raise a discussion for practitioners of how to avoid damaging email communication. By intersecting literature on communication, information systems, psychology and organisational studies, factors leading to an ‘emotional verge’ are identified and summarised in a model showing factors likely to prime, but also protect against, anger escalation.

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