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Dominant Learning Processes in Emergency Response Organizations: A Case Study of a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre



Research on decision-making and expert performance in operational settings generally considers extensive personal experience and deliberate practice to be decisive for development of expertise. Learning and development of decision-making abilities therefore tend to be explained in terms of human cognition. This study examines the dominant learning processes in a Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, revealing that personal experience, individual problem-solving, knowledge accumulation, and collective reflection are the key processes in the individual development of decision-making abilities. These findings show that both individual and contextual (including organisational) aspects need to be considered if we are to fully understand the development of decision-making abilities and consequently be better able to explain and analyse decision-making and expert performance in natural settings.