Today, while walking the dog, I opened my email and found out that David Buchanan and my article “The dark side of group behavior: Zombie apocalypse lessons” is accepted for publication in Academy of Management Perspectives (http://aom.org/Publications/AMP/Academy-of-Management-Perspectives.aspx) . Abstract below.
How will groups of survivors behave in a doomsday scenario? Will there be competition for scarce resources? Will they collaborate in reconstruction? We cannot research these questions directly, but we can find clues in four places. First, there are historical examples of apocalyptic events. Second, social identity theory offers explanations of group behavior. Third, there are studies of group dynamics in extreme contexts. We discuss the limitations of those three sources, prompting us to turn to a fictional account in search of ideas. Adopting a narrative theoretical lens, we consider ‘the theory on offer’ in the television series The Walking Dead, which portrays a zombie apocalypse. We find that group behavior is shaped by the nature of survivor group composition, and by the properties of the doomsday context they face. We demonstrate the potential for the emergence of a dark, violent side of group behavior. We illustrate a methodological solution to the problem of researching extreme contexts using ‘speculative fiction’. And we break new ground by exploiting the zombie movie genre, which addresses the ‘failure of imagination’ that can increase society’s vulnerability to unforeseen events. Our analysis has implications for organization theory, and for policy and practice in doomsday scenarios.
Härom dagen hade jag det stora nöjet att hålla ett föredrag på Svemins årliga arbetsmiljökonferens (https://www.svemin.se/aktuellt/nyhet/arbetsmiljoseminarium-2020/). Temat var säkerhet inom gruvindustrin och det var närmare 330 deltagare som bänkade sig i den stora salen i de bekväma röda stolarna. Oavsett om vi är under eller över jord så är många av mekanismerna för säkerhet desamma. Detta är också något jag berörde genom att prata med utgångspunkt i vad som hände på K2 2008, och vad man ska vara uppmärksam på för att det inte ska hända i vanliga organisationer – och gruvor.
Häromdagen publicerades intervjun som DI gjorde med undertecknad. Intervjun berörde forskningen kring tristess och rutiner mellan rutiner. Bland annat diskuterar jag betydelsen av gratis kaffe och andra viktiga delar av livet. Länken till artikeln finns här, och för den som inte har access finns artikeln här
Based on David Buchanan´s and my article about leadership in Day of the Dead, the magazine Chef made an interview. Great fun!
I had the pleasure of being invited to talk with a group of elderly men interested in Sweden and the second world war. The topic of the conversation was extreme contexts, and what that may have meant to Swedes during WW2. We had a great 2,5 hours with a wide ranging conversation about routines, politics, labor camps, and WW2 in general.
A week or two ago I had the pleasure of giving a talk at Aalto University, Finland. The talk was about routines in different extreme contexts. It was a very pleasurable event with great people, great comments, and great food! I am looking forward to whatever it may develop into.
Recently I founded Knowledge Forum Region North together with the participating organizations (see below). The aim of the knowledge forum is to share and reflect upon experiences, knowledge, and science, to increase society´s capability to cope with extreme events. Today the Knowledge forum consists of TripleEd, the Police, the Security Police, the military, and the county administrative board of Västerbotten. As we go along other organizations and researchers will be added. Really looking forward to what this initiative may turn into. There is certainly a need for some integration and reflections for all of us. The collaboration is thus quite exciting!
Yesterday I had the privilege to talk at the AI-days at Umeå university. The talk was based on conversations with Jonny Holmström and Informatics. In the preparation for the talk it struck me how important this topic is for extreme contexts too. We are all too familiar with the fact that AI is transforming society as we know it since it is sneaking into every aspect of our lives (even those that we do not realize). But, more importantly, for extreme contexts it is highly relevant because AI is the basis for i.e. weather predictions (when a black marker is not involved), influencing voters and creating an increased polarization in society – to name but two examples.
The point of the talk is that there is little new and exciting about AI. It has been around for ages. But, it is indeed influencing our behaviors and we need to understand how. To be able to do this we need to start where we always should start: Humans and human behavior. One way is to have more nitty-gritty detailed case studies (and context sensitive methodologies).
I have the pleasure of spending a week at IEA by the invitation of Yvonne Giordano. In addition to exploring shared research interests and collaborations, I have given a talk on how I came to “explore the Extreme to understand the normal”. Trying to make sense of this was an interesting thought process, to say the least!