Literature Review: Managing Crises Collaboratively - Prospects and Problems


CNDS fellows Daniel Nohrstedt, Fredrik Bynander, and Charles Parker have published a literature review addressing the challenges and opportunities presented when collaboratively managing crises.

Effective interorganizational collaboration is a pivotal ingredient of any community or nation’s capacity to prepare for and bounce back from disruptive crisis events. The booming research field of collaborative public management (CPM) has been yielding important insights into such collaboration that as yet await transfer to the study of crisis management (CM). Also, we argue that the general CPM literature has not sufficiently addressed the distinctive collaboration challenges involved in coping with crises. This article bridges this twofold gap. Based on a systematic review of prior research in collaborative CM, this study identifies dominant areas of theoretical emphasis, methodological practices, and patterns of empirical enquiry. The article highlights areas where CPM research has potential to further inform the understanding of collaborative CM, including performance, success factors, managerial skills, and learning. The article then identifies five properties associated with CM—uncertainty, leadership, magnitude, costs, and urgency—which deserve further analysis to advance the understanding of the application of CPM principles and strategies. We conclude with outlining a research agenda and offering a set of testable propositions aimed at investigating the likelihood of effective collaboration in different types of crises and as expected in different CM paradigms.