Samvirke – the core concept of Norwegian search and rescue services – as seen by voluntary organizations
AbstractThe core concept of the search and rescue services is in Norwegian language described with the term samvirke, often translated into English by cooperation. In this article we will explore if samvirke is more than usually meant by cooperation. Empirical material from interviews with representatives for voluntary organizations engaged in search and rescue is analyzed on basis of Sennett’s theories on the social triangle (earned authority, mutual respect, cooperation) and craftsmanship. The findings suggest that the social triangle may explain the working elements of samvirke in the Norwegian search and rescue services. They may be summed up by the need to have confidence with each other and not least between voluntary and public efforts. When trying to gain increased interest, especially among young people for engaging as volunteers, it might be of value to build future strategies upon Sennett’s theories on craftsmanship. Samvirke appears to be more than just cross-institutional cooperation in crises. A prerequisite is that voluntary organizations are regarded as competent providers of relevant craftsmanship. Samvirke is not a principle that can be chosen by decision. It has to be established through processes in real life. Samvirke is organization, work and ideology, thus more than cooperation or coordination.
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