Knowledge Management Research & Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 387–397

Network effects on learning during emergency events

  • Jafar Hamra
  • Rolf Wigand
  • Liaquat Hossain
  • Christine Owen
Article

DOI: 10.1057/kmrp.2012.65

Cite this article as:
Hamra, J., Wigand, R., Hossain, L. et al. Knowl Manage Res Pract (2014) 12: 387. doi:10.1057/kmrp.2012.65

Abstract

Understanding the factors that enhance or impede learning of individuals is instrumental in achieving organizational performance goals. In this study, the effect of social network structures on the learning attitudes of emergency personnel during an emergency event was investigated. On the basis of a social influence model of learning, a theoretical framework has been proposed to investigate the effects of network structure on learning outcomes of bushfire incident management teams. To test our framework, we investigated social network data, which were extracted from the transcripts of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission report. Empirical results suggest that a network structure of emergency personnel can be identified, which plays a key role in the ability of those actors to engage in learning-related work activity, allowing them to adapt and improvise in complex emergency events. By presenting a model of learning-related work activity, based on a social network analysis of its structure, emergency staff members can strengthen their capacity to be flexible and adaptable.

Keywords

communicationsnetworkslearningknowledge sharingadaptive behaviouremergency management

Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jafar Hamra
    • 1
  • Rolf Wigand
    • 2
  • Liaquat Hossain
    • 1
  • Christine Owen
    • 3
  1. 1.University of SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of Arkansas at Little RockU.S.A.
  3. 3.University of TasmaniaAustralia