Keywords: tabletop exercises, crisis management, simulation, learning outcomes, understanding, emergency management
Using tabletop exercises to learn about crisis management: empirical evidence
Tabletop exercises are often used for learning purposes in the area of crisis management, yet their potential for this is far from clear. The study examines the learning outcomes achieved by a group of persons taking part in tabletop exercises in which they assess the crisis management capabilities of the organisation to which they belong and suggest possible improvements. Interviews with the participants provide evidence of positive learning effects. Although the effects are in line with generally accepted normative principles of crisis management, the degree of understanding that the participants gain about it appears to vary considerably. The underlying reasons for this are discussed.