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The failure of knowledge-based task performance- a study of the police emergency response during the 22/7 terror attacks in Norway

The failure of knowledge-based task performance- a study of the police emergency response during the 22/7 terror attacks in Norway

Category
Part of a book/report
Abstract
In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Norway on 22/7 2011, numerous public reports have been issued in order to describe and explain the events and make recommendations to improve the ability of the Norwegian society to withstand and manage future terrorist acts. The Official Norwegian Report (NOU) written by the investigating commission chose to emphasise that “(…) lessons learned are to a greater extent applicable to leadership, interaction, culture and attitudes, than to a lack of resources, a need for new legislation, organization or important value choices.” (p.16) Several evaluation reports, issued later on, claim that many of the problems and challenges addressed by the NOU were still present, and that learning had failed. In this paper we address the task performance of the police during the terror attack, based on the representation of the course of events given in The Official Norwegian Report (NOU). Our attention is directed towards the interaction between different roles in the emergency organization in order to understandwhy available information was not put to use in the form of adequate actions, and why some unfortunate decisions were made. Based on analyses of reports and interviews with representatives from the police sector, we argue that a marginalization of the operational and strategic level of the emergency organization, and the inadequate ability of knowledge-based performance contributed to an ineffective police response in order to track and capture the perpetrator, and eventually hinder the tragedy at Utøya.We found that the limited extent of knowledge-based performance seems to stem from a predominately skill-based orientation within the police, promoted by established conventions of what “proper police work” is about.
Language
English
Author(s)
  • Bye Rolf Johan
  • Almklov Petter
  • Nyheim Ole Magnus
  • Gilberg Asbjørn
  • Johnsen Stig Ole
Affiliation
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • NTNU Social Research
  • Safetec Nordic AS
  • SINTEF Digital / Software Engineering, Safety and Security
Year
2017
Publisher
CRC Press
Book
Risk, Reliability and Safety: Innovating Theory and Practice : Proceedings of ESREL 2016 (Glasgow, Scotland, 25-29 September 2016)
ISBN
9781138029972
Page(s)
1893 - 1900