Examining what constitutes the necessary components of an effective Crisis Decision Maker

Waight, Richard (2014) Examining what constitutes the necessary components of an effective Crisis Decision Maker. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Rarely, in the 21st Century, will organisations be without Resilience Strategies or Contingency Plans methodically supported with appropriate policy and procedures to counter likely critical incidents. Yet, despite this, the best laid plans are continually found wanting and incidents turn to crises as responses fail or the coincidence of events go beyond previous comprehension or consideration. Consequently the loss of control tests the very essence of individual decision making outside the plans and procedural boundaries, while the environment increases stress and the margin of possible human error. Examining what constitutes the necessary components of an effective Crisis Decision Maker remains a crucial factor in selecting the right people and increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
    This dissertation examines some of the key academic studies that help understand the cognitive and psychological complexities of making effective decisions in pressured environments. It compares and integrates the findings with experienced practitioner feedback, drawn from interviews, in an attempt to identify essential common trends in what may constitute their DNA. In doing so it finds a range of different aspects that collectively help understand the necessary ingredients. It identifies, using feedback based on the Abridged Big-Five Dimensional Circumplex (AB5C), lower dimensions model, the preferred behaviours and links these preferences back to the Five Factor Model character traits to show which are considered the more dominant.
    The examination reveals some issues with the disparate nature of relevant academic studies and how the specialist areas rarely integrate work in the context of crisis decisions. While no agreed definition of a crisis and inconsistent terminology can render one persons crisis as another’s emergency or critical incident and thus muddy a clear perspective or context in which academia can work. It finds practitioners tend to think about success in terms of process, procedures, action and outcome rather than the individual behaviours and characteristics that may enable them, and discovers a sorely lacking understanding of the negative effects of cognitive biases.
    Despite these issues trends are found. Strong individual traits are identified alongside more discrete trait influences that seem to indicate the capability to use contrasting behaviours. However a critical aspect is the ability to regulate, moderate and monitor their use at the appropriate time, in the correct measure to best effect. This takes a combination of components some learned others
    possibly inherent.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 10:40
    Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 10:40
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/16702

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