La mise en récit de l’accident de Fukushima Dai Ichi par le directeur de la centrale : Le coping en situation extrême

Abstract : The Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear accident was analysed in many publications. These studies followed classical approaches and focused on drawing lessons to improve nuclear facilities’ preventive measures. Therefore, the human aspect of the crisis management is not addressed enough.The hearings of the plant’s superintendent Yoshida by the Government’s inquiry Committee may help us tackle this issue. We consider that the transcriptions of the hearings are a life narrative of superintendent Yoshida. This narrative depicts his experience throughout an extreme situation. During four days, the workers around him dealt with extremely harsh conditions and had very limited resources available. Despite the threat to their physical, psychological and social integrity, they managed to overcome the hardship and prevented the worse from happening.Coping is a notion that refers to the specific efforts carried out to adjust to stressful situations. These efforts depend on the representation the individual forms of the situation. A qualitative study of Yoshida’s narrative allows us then to understand coping strategies carried out and the individual and contextual factors that came into play. We found that coping strategies were active after the arrival of the tsunami, but with the scarcity of resources and the impossibility to intervene on the reactors, Yoshida became more passive and began having morbid thoughts. As the crisis unfolded, anticipation and elaboration of alternative solutions left room to resignation.The narrative provides us technical and operational explanations, but Yoshida also describes emotional, cognitive and relational aspects of the crisis management. He pays tribute to the workers depicted as unsung heroes. The construction of his life narrative allows him to rehabilitate his collective of workers that took incredible risks to save Japan with very little support.Life narratives provide us with events as they have been experienced. They highlight the mechanisms that help organisations redefine their action in dangerous and urgent situations. Life narratives help us put the human back at the centre of accidents analyses.
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Aissame Afrouss. La mise en récit de l’accident de Fukushima Dai Ichi par le directeur de la centrale : Le coping en situation extrême. Gestion et management. PSL Research University, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEM057⟩. ⟨tel-01822484⟩

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