Two interesting papers for a rainy day

The summer is finally here. This means many days of mild weather and rain, at least here in Sweden. For these rainy days, I have selected two papers that I will pay particular attention to. One paper focus on big data and crisis response, and the other paper focus on multi-agency response.  The two papers are published in Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.

Watson, H., Finn, R. L., & Wadhwa, K. (2017). Organizational and Societal Impacts of Big Data in Crisis Management. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 25(1), 15-22.

Abstract: This paper presents findings from a case study conducted as part of the EU project, BYTE – ‘The Big data roadmap and cross-disciplinarY community for addressing socie- Tal Externalities’. The article seeks to outline the role of big data in the different stages of crisis management and the organizational and societal benefits associated with engagement with this data. This article supports findings from other studies in that big data is able to significantly contribute to crisis response efforts. Big data can support organizations in their efforts to be better informed as data are able to significantly con- tribute to situational awareness, which can in turn inform decision-making, such as resource allocation. In addition, this study has demonstrated that big data is also able to positively inform preparation and pre-crisis efforts. However, at present, little is known about the contribution of big data to recovery efforts; demonstrating the need for further research in this area. As such, big data does appear to provide a number of positive benefits to organizations, benefits of which can then subsequently positively impact society.

Steigenberger, N. (2016). Organizing for the Big One: A Review of Case Studies and a Research Agenda for Multi‐Agency Disaster Response. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.

Abstract: Disaster response operations require the cooperation of agencies that seldom interact in their daily operations. The result is a complex coordination problem, which has been in the focus of many case studies. In an effort to facilitate cross-case learning, this study presents a review of empirical studies on the multi-agency coordination of disaster response operations. The review covers 80 empirical studies and highlights the importance of training, expertise, planning and plan enactment, leadership and personal acquaintance between the actors in emergent multi-agency response networks. The analysis results also show that while some areas have received extensive coverage in scholarly publications (e.g., training, skills), a number of important topics have yet to be studied in sufficient depth (e.g., leadership and role taking, plan enactment). Based on these insights, a research agenda is proposed and a number of recommendations for practical disaster response management are made.


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