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Repertoires of collaboration for common operating pictures of disasters and extreme events


Disasters are dynamic, emergent scenarios involving diverse stakeholders in complex decision making and as such, disaster response systems must account for these conditions. We suggest that emergency service agencies should consider supplementing their traditional command and control approaches and common operating pictures (COP), with purposeful collaborative approaches. These would facilitate the generation of common operating pictures incorporating dynamic and emergent characteristics, providing a range of options with which to better respond to disasters. Collaborative management and negotiated integration of information represent a paradigmatic shift in our thinking about disaster response. We have utilized McCann’s (1983) Social Problem Solving Negotiated Arrangements (SPS-NA) to highlight problems with conventional approaches during three disaster scenarios. As a result of lessons learned from this analysis we suggest that developing supplementary repertoires of collaboration would have a positive impact on improved COP for effective disaster response outcomes.

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An earlier version of this submission was presented at IFIP WG 8.6 2013, please see Bunker et al. (2013) for full detail.

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Correspondence to Deborah Bunker.

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Bunker, D., Levine, L. & Woody, C. Repertoires of collaboration for common operating pictures of disasters and extreme events. Inf Syst Front 17, 51–65 (2015).

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  • Common operating pictures
  • Disaster response
  • Collaboration
  • Negotiated arrangements
  • Extreme events