Ledning och samverkan vid samhällsstörningar
Introduction to Disaster Response Management
VRSN11, 7,5 credits, A (Second Cycle)
Valid for: 2021/22
Faculty: Faculty of Engineering, LTH
Decided by: PLED BI/RH
Date of Decision: 2021-04-14
Main field: Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation.
Compulsory for: MKAT1
Elective for: RH4
Language of instruction: The course will be given in English
- to provide the student with knowledge and skills to plan and
evaluate prerequisites for direction and coordination in disaster
- to constitute a foundation for the student with an interest in
research associated with direction and coordination in disaster
Knowledge and understanding
For a passing grade the student must
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding for the field of
direction and coordination in disaster management, including
insight in current research and development within the field.
- demonstrate specialized methodological knowledge in the main
field of direction and coordination in disaster management.
Competences and skills
For a passing grade the student must
- demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically
integrate knowledge and analyze and assess preconditions for
direction and coordination in disaster management.
- demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate challenges
for direction and coordination autonomously and creatively as well
as suggest solutions.
- demonstrate the ability in speech and writing both nationally
and internationally to report clearly and discuss his or her
conclusions and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with
- demonstrate the ability to work constructively in a team and to
communicate effectively with people from different
Judgement and approach
For a passing grade the student must
- demonstrate the ability to reflect on his or her attitude
towards preconditions for direction and coordination.
- demonstrate the ability to reflect on ethical, subjective and
societal dimensions of preconditions for direction and
Disaster response management is a broad and multidisciplinary
field. A key element, and a challenge, with any disaster response
management effort, is to achieve direction and coordination among
multiple actors. Direction refers to e.g. overall goals with
mission, or the prioritization of activities. Coordination refers
to the need for making things happen in the right order, avoid
unnecessary duplications, or create synergies. Direction &
coordination is always oriented towards meeting various needs, such
as saving lives, need for evacuation, or need for stopping the
cause behind the disaster. In order to generate direction and
coordination a disaster response manager should understand the
contextual conditions associated with disaster response management.
Furthermore, she or he needs to understand how decisions typically
are made. Finally, the disaster manager needs to understand the
requirements for functional leadership and organizational
The main components of the course consist of:
- introduction to general theoretical framework, including key
- brief treatment of the complex disaster response management
- treatment of decision making in a disaster response management
- treatment of leadership in a disaster response management
- treatment of organizational aspects of disaster response
- exchange of knowledge between students and experienced
- brief treatment of methods for holistic analysis of disaster
- table top exercises focused on how to achieve direction and
coordination in a multi-organizational disaster response
The course content is applicable nationally as well as
internationally and suitable for those who are interested in
working with issues concerning direction and coordination in
disaster management on different levels of society. Examples of
associated bodies are central, regional and local authorities,
health care, rescue services, private companies and humanitarian
The course includes mandatory individual homework and group
project work, which are mainly based on case studies. The project
work is to be presented orally as well as in writing, the latter in
the form of a report.
Grading scale: TH - (U,3,4,5) - (Fail, Three, Four, Five)
Assessment: Written group assignment, and written individual examination and written individual report.
The examiner, in consultation with Disability Support Services, may deviate from the regular form of examination in order to provide a permanently disabled student with a form of examination equivalent to that of a student without a disability.
Code: 0119. Name: Written Examination.
Credits: 5. Grading scale: TH. Assessment: Approved examination trough individual written examination Contents: Written examination
Code: 0219. Name: Written Home Assignment.
Credits: 2,5. Grading scale: UG. Assessment: Group assignment with written report, approved individual report. Contents: Group assignment with written report, individual report.
- Admitted to the Master's Programme in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation or to the Programme Risk Management and Safety Engineering or have a minimum of 150 hp from a five-year engineering programme or from the Fire Safety Engineering Programme at LTH.
The number of participants is limited to: 40
Selection: Completed university credits within the program. Within programs where the course is given as a compulsory course students are guaranteed admission.
Thereafter priority is given to students enrolled in programs that include the course in the curriculum.
The course might be cancelled: If the number of applicants is less than 12.
The course overlaps following course/s: VRSN10
- Atkinson, S.R. & Moffat J. : The Agile Organization: From Informal Network to Complex Effects and Agility. CCRP publications, 2005. Pages: 1-14, 19-32, 36-42, 57-63, 89-97.
- Bergström, J., Uhr, C. & Frykmer, T. : A Complexity Framework for Studying Disaster Response Management. 2016. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Vol. 24. No 3, pp. 124-135.
- Ekman, O. & Uhr, C. : Global model for direction and coordination in multi-actor crisis management. 20th ICCRTS, 2015.
- Dekker, S. : The Psychology of Accident Investigation: Epistemological, Preventive, Moral and Existential Meaning-making. 2015. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 202-213.
- Uhr, C., Johansson, B.J.E., Landgren, J., Holmberg, M. Bynander, F., Koelega, S. and Trnka, J: Once Upon a Time in Västmanland – the Power of Narratives or How the “Truth” Unfolds. 2016. ISCRAM 2016 Conference Proceeding (peer-reviewed).
- Brehmer, B. : Dynamic Decision-making: Human Control of Complex Systems. 1992. Acta Psychologica, Vol. 81, No. 3, pp. 211–241.
- Frykmer, T., Uhr, C. and Tehler, H. : On Collective Improvisation – A Scoping Study. 2017. (to be published in Safety Science).
- Kahneman, D. : A perspective on Judgement and Choice. 2003. American Psychologist. 58, pp. 697-720.
- Klein, G. A. : Naturalistic Decision Making. 2008. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, Vol. 50, No 3, pp. 456–460.
- Uhr, C. Tehler, H. and Wester, M. : It’s a Bit Ambiguous… – A Study on Approaches to Ambiguity in Emergency Response Decision-making. 2017.
- Hogg, M. A., and Reid, S. A: Social Identity, Self-Categorisation, and the Communication of Group Norms. 2006. In: Communication Theory, Vol. 16, pp. 7-30. (DiY).
- Mishra, A. K. : Organizational Response to Crisis: The Centrality of Trust. Sage Publications, CA, 1996. In:
Kramer, R. M., and Tyler, T. R. (Eds.), Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research.
- Uhr, C. : Leadership ideals as Barriers for Efficient Collaboration. 2017. Published online. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.
- Jensen, J. & Thomson, S. : The Incident Command System: A literature review. 2015. Disasters, Vol 40, Issue 1, pp. 158-182.
- FEMA: National Incident Management System. 2017. (NIMS): Access:
https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/148019 (Pages: 1-5, 19-47).
- Auf der Heide, E. : Disaster response - Principles of Preparation and Response. 2000. Online edition designed by the center of excellence in disaster management and humanitarian assistance (Chapter 3 – The Paper Plan Syndrome, Chapter 7 - Incident Command System, Chapter 10 – Media: Friend and Foe).
- Brehmer, B. : Harmony rather than unity. Washington, DC: CCRP, 2011. Proceedings of the 16th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium.
Contact and other information
Course coordinator: Christian Uhr, email@example.com
Further information: Group assignments and seminars require active participation. Each group member must individually be able to account for the content of the project assignment. If a group member does not fulfil the demands of the group or ignores hers/his commitment, she/he can be reassigned to another group or get a fail result.