Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 17 Issue 3 (September 2009), Pages 143-202

Effects of Buzzwords on Experiential Learning: The Swedish Case of ‘Shared Situation Awareness’ (pages 169-178)

This article takes an interest in the effects of buzzwords in the lesson‐drawing efforts of governmental bureaucracy. Buzzwords are viewed here as policy ideas for which policy makers are enthusiastic beyond subjecting them to critical scrutiny. They are in that sense detrimental to policy‐oriented learning and lesson‐drawing in the long run. They can, however, serve as heuristic devices in the short run; the reason for their usage and spreading may be that they pinpoint recurring structural problems (however, not solutions). This argument is corroborated by a case study on the effects of the buzzword ‘shared situation awareness’, which has been overly tractable in the Swedish crisis management system for a number of years.

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