Extending the Information-Processing View of Coordination in Public Sector Crisis Response

  • Gonzalez R
  • Verbraeck A
  • Dahanayake A
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Abstract

Coordinating the response of multiple public agencies to a large-scale crisis is a challenge that has been studied predominantly according to the information-processing view. In this paper, the authors extend this view with the notion of emergence giving special attention to information and communication technology (ICT). The extended framework is applied in a case study of crisis response exercises in the public sector. The findings suggest that current practices concentrate on standards and hierarchy, but mutual adjustment and emergent coordination also occur and are susceptible to analysis and equally relevant to understand coordination practices. In addition, ICT can provide information processing capabilities needed for coordination but may also create information processing needs by increasing the volume of data and the interconnectedness of responders. Applying the extended framework improves the understanding of coordination and forms the basis for its future use in designing ICT to support coordination in crisis response and e-government.

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Authors

  • Rafael A. Gonzalez

  • Alexander Verbraeck

  • Ajantha Dahanayake

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