Natalia Andreassen, Odd Jarl Borch & Emmi Ikonen
Emergency response operations include a range of agencies who collaborate closely together. This is especially true in the Arctic regions where resources may be scarce. The participants within emergency response include a range of institutions such as: mission coordination centers, fire and rescue services, police, coast guard and military forces, private organizations, companies, and volunteers. In this paper, we illustrate the managerial roles of the incident commanders who coordinate and control emergency response, and the organizational mechanisms supporting the incident commanders. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the operational conditions found in the Arctic add to the inter-organizational coordination challenges. We build upon several illustrative cases to demonstrate how the managerial roles are influenced by their context. The key operational challenges in the Arctic region include harsh weather conditions, long distances to resource bases, and limited infrastructure. We argue that role flexibility, re-planning capability and authority delegation are critical prerequisites for an efficient crisis response in the Arctic. The capability for role switching is important for all key personnel involved in the maritime incident response. Results from in-depth case studies of maritime emergency operations in Norway are presented in this paper.