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Title: Exploring post-critical incident support training in a UK financial institution : a case-study
Author: Novak, Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 5436
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis is a case-study set in a large UK Financial Organisation which post the September 11th 2001 attack on the World Trade Building in New York (9/11) was faced with the prospect of having to develop strategies and training for employees who potentially might experience a critical incident. A critical incident, as used in this thesis, being a disaster that disrupts business continuity. The 9/11 attack is not a consideration per se but was the impetus for the Organisation's review of its business continuity strategy. Post-incident support for staff was an important element of the business continuity strategy review as the protection of staff was considered essential for ensuring business continuity. The Organisation considered that training may be the best approach to offering such support. The focus of the thesis is post-critical support training. In exploring the demand for post-critical incident support training, the paper argues that at a time of (generally perceived) increased levels of anxiety and insecurity within the workplace, the potential for a critical incident to occur is considered a real possibility. In responding to such threats, employees are called upon to develop their skills/knowledge beyond that of their job requirements. In effect, they are required to learn about the effects of a disaster on their own performance and that of colleagues. Such learning has implications for trainers, and those requiring training, as the criteria for offering post-critical support training differs from other training programmes. Within post-critical support training, the focus is not the acquisition of specific skills or factual job-related knowledge but on developing the employee's emotional self-awareness. Unlike most other vocational training, it will not enhance current job performance nor organisation profits. In deed, it is highly probable that employees will never be called upon to put their learning into practice. The thesis argues that such differences separate post critical incident support training from other training programmes and brings into question the purpose and the benefits for developing post-critical support training. In developing the argument, the thesis uses a case-study method drawing upon the work of Yin (2003) and Stake (2000). The case-study used both quantitative and qualitative sources of data. However, the main body of data is qualitative and was gathered from thirty-two semi-structured interviews based on narrative and psycho-social research approaches (Holloway, & Jefferson, 2000). The thirty-two participants interviewed all had had experience of being involved in a critical incident either directly, as victims, or indirectly in the planning and delivering of post-incident service provision. The purpose of the interviews was to explore participants' understanding of a critical incident and how training might support post-critical incident recovery. In considering the case for training, the thesis explores issues relating to postcritical incident training and in doing so, attempts to place workplace learning within a wider educational context. As part of this, it considers the role of human resources and how different human resource models affect approaches to training. The thesis argues that the economic imperative, as reflected within a 'hard' human resources approach, is too narrow a focus. What is required is an holistic learning approach to training that is centred on a humanistic educational model, as reflected in a 'soft' approach to human resources. This model of training would be the most beneficial, to both employee and employer, should a critical incident occur.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available