Civil-Military Collaboration During the Coronavirus Outbreak: A Case Study in Swedish Context

Erik Hedlund
Swedish Defense University


ABSTRACT In early 2020, decision makers in Stockholm were concerned that intensive care units would run out of intensive care beds because of the massive spread of the Coronavirus. Therefore, they decided that a group of doctors, a construction company and the Swedish Armed Forces should build a hospital inside an exhibition hall. This article examines this project as an example of proactive crisis management, collaboration and civil-military relations. Using field-study observations and interviews, this article investigates what was successful and what was not when it came to collaboration during an escalating crisis. An analysis based on Bolman and Deal’s four perspectives on organizations and Mintzberg’s organizational configurations showed that, despite structural organizational differences, collaboration worked surprisingly well because of a common goal, and similarities in motivation and identity among the actors. Keywords: Coronavirus, collaboration, crisis management, civil-military relations


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