Advertisement

Partially Distributed Emergency Teams: Considerations of Decision Support for Virtual Communities of Practice

  • Linda PlotnickEmail author
  • Murray Turoff
  • Connie White
Part of the Annals of Information Systems book series (AOIS, volume 13)

Abstract

Emergency situations often require cross-organisational response and planning by groups that are geographically distant from one another. Increasingly, individuals and these groups are leveraging technology to support a variety of communication and decision-making needs. This is creating an opportunity for groups, who traditionally worked in face-to-face environments, to accomplish these same tasks remotely using electronic communications resulting in new group dynamics. These groups, known as partially distributed emergency teams (PDETs), are managing crises, working together as a team of geographically dispersed collocated groups. This forms a flatter organisation which supports greater collaboration. Technology can be used to support creative ways that replace and enhance the gaps that are left from the transition of a F2F environment to a virtual one. There are underexplored methods that can be further developed to support virtual communities of practice communication and decision-making needs. We identify these gaps and suggest strategies to help build and nurture these communities. We conclude the chapter by describing the strength of online citizen participation and describe how using a global population can change the way some decision- making efforts can be enabled and enhanced.

Keywords

Partially distributed emergency teams Communities of practice Trust Social media 

References

  1. Armstrong, D.J. and P. Cole, “Managing Distances and Differences in Geographically Distributed Work Groups,” in Hinds, P.J. and Kessler, S. (eds), Distributed Work: New Ways of Working Across Distance Using Technology, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA 2002.Google Scholar
  2. Aud, J., “TxMAP via LICONT,” in Proceedings of the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Seattle, WA 2010.Google Scholar
  3. Banuals, V.A., M. Turoff and J. Lopez, “Clustering Scenarios Using Cross Impact Analysis,” in Proceedings of the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), 2010.Google Scholar
  4. Barton, A.H., Communities in Disaster, Doubleday, 1969.Google Scholar
  5. Bos, N., J.S. Olsen, N. Nan, N.S. Shami, S. Hoch and E. Johnson, “Collocation Blindness’ in Partially Distributed Groups: Is There a Downside to Being Collocated?” in Proceedings of CHI, Quebec, Canada 2006.Google Scholar
  6. Coppola, N., S.R. Hiltz and N. Rotter, “Building Trust in Virtual Teams,” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 47, 2, June 2004, 95–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Danieisson, M. and K. Ohisson, “Decision Making in Emergency Management: A Survey Study,” International Journal of Cognitive Ergonomics, 3, 2, 1999, 91–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dennis, A.R., R.M. Fuller and S.S. Valacich, “Media, Tasks, and Communication Processes: A Theory of Media Synchronicity,” MIS Quarterly, 32, 2, 2009, 575–600.Google Scholar
  9. Hendela, A., X. Yao, M. Turoff, S.R. Hiltz and M. Chumer, “Virtual Emergency Preparedness Gaming: A Follow Up Study,” in Proceedings of the Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Newark, NJ 2006.Google Scholar
  10. Hiltz, S.R. and M. Turoff, The Network Nation: Human Communication via Computer, First ­edition 1978, Addison Wesley, Revised edition 1993, Cambridge, MA MIT Press.Google Scholar
  11. Hinds, P. and M. Mortensen, “Understanding Conflict in Geographically Distributed Teams: An Empirical Investigation,” Organization Science, 16, 3, 2005, 290–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huang, H. and R. Ocker, “Preliminary Insights into the In-Group/Out-Group Effect in Partially Distributed Teams: An Analysis of Participant Reflections,” in Proceedings of SIGMIS-CPR’06, Pomona, CA 2006.Google Scholar
  13. Iacono, C.S. and W. Weisband, “Developing Trust in Virtual Teams,” in Proceedings of the 30th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Maui, HI 1997, 412–420.Google Scholar
  14. International Committee of the Red Cross – History of Organization, URL = http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1963/red-cross-history.html.
  15. Kowalski-Trakofler, K., C. Vaught and T. Sharf, “Judgment and Decision Making Under Stress: An Overview for Emergency Managers,” International Journal of Emergency Management, 1, 3, 2003, 278–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Meyerson, D., K.E. Weick and R.M. Kramer, “Swift Trust and Temporary Groups” in Kramer, R.M. and Tyler, T.R. (eds), Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc., 1996, 166–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mitchell, J.K., ed., Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 1999.Google Scholar
  18. Palen, L., S.R. Hiltz and S. Liu, “Citizen Participation in Emergency Preparedness and Response,” Communications of the ACM, special issue, March 2007, 54–58.Google Scholar
  19. Panteli, N. and R.M. Davison, “The Role of Subgroups in the Communication Patterns of Global Virtual Teams,” IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 48, 2, 2005, 191–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Plotnick, L, E.A. Gomez, C. White and M. Turoff, “Furthering Development of a Unified Emergency Scale Using Thurstone’s Law of Comparative Judgment, A Progress Report,” in Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Delft, the Netherlands 2007.Google Scholar
  21. Plotnick, L., S.R. Hiltz and R.J. Ocker, “Trust in Partially Distributed Teams,” in Proceedings of the Thirtieth International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Phoenix, AZ 2009.Google Scholar
  22. Plotnick, L., S.R. Hiltz, and R.J. Ocker, “Media Choices and Trust in Partially Distributed Teams,” in Proceedings of the 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Kauai, HI 2010.Google Scholar
  23. Polzer, J.T., B. Crisp, S.L. Jarvenpaa and J.W. Kim, “Expanding the Faultline Model to Geographically Dispersed Teams: How Collocated Subgroups Can Impair Group Functioning,” Academy of Management Journal, 29, 4, 2006, 679–692.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sebastian, I.M. and T.X. Bui, “Emergent Groups for Emergency Response – Theoretical Foundations and Information Design Implications,” in Proceedings of Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), San Fransisco, CA 2009.Google Scholar
  25. Turoff, M., M. Chumer, B. Van de Walle and X. Yao, “The Design of a Dynamic Emergency Response Management Information System (DERMIS),” Journal of Information Technology, Theory and Application (JITTA), 5, 4, 2004a, 1–35.Google Scholar
  26. Turoff, M., M. Chumer, S.R. Hiltz, R. Klashner, M. Alles, M. Vararheyi and A. Kogan, “Assuring Homeland Security: Continuous Monitoring, Control & Assurance of Emergency Preparedness,” Journal of Information Technology, Theory and Application (JITTA), 6, 3, 2004b, 1–24.Google Scholar
  27. Turoff, M., M. Chumer and S.R. Hiltz, “Emergency Planning As a Continuous Game,” in Proceedings of the 3th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Newark, NJ 2006.Google Scholar
  28. Vieweg, S., L. Palen, S. Liuk, A. Hughes and J. Sutton, “Collective Intelligence in Disaster: Examination of the Phenomenon in the Aftermath of the 2007 Virginia Tech Shooting,” in Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Washington, DC 2008.Google Scholar
  29. Wakefield, R.L., D.E. Leidner and G. Garrison, “A Model of Conflict, Leadership, and Performance in Virtual Teams, Information Systems Research, 19, 4, 2008, 434–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Weick, K. and K. Sutcliffe, Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an Age of Complexity. Jossey-Bass, 2007.Google Scholar
  31. White, C., L. Plotnick, M. Turoff and S.R. Hiltz, “A Dynamic Voting Wiki,” in Proceedings of the 13th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Keystone, CO 2007a.Google Scholar
  32. White, C., M. Turoff and B. Van de Walle, “A Dynamic Delphi Process Utilizing a Modified Thurstone Scaling Method: Collaborative Judgment in Emergency Response,” in Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Delft, the Netherlands 2007b.Google Scholar
  33. White, C., L. Plotnick, R. Addams-Moring, M. Turoff and S.R. Hiltz, “Leveraging a Wiki to Enhance Virtual Collaboration in the Emergency Domain,” in Proceedings of the 41st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Hawaii, Hawaii 2008.Google Scholar
  34. White, C., M. Turoff, and S.R. Hiltz, “A Real Time Online Delphi Decision System, Version 2.0: Crisis Management Support During Extreme Events,” in Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), Seattle, WA 2010.Google Scholar
  35. Yao, X. and M. Turoff, “Using Task Structure to Improve Collaborative Scenario Creation,” in Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), 2007.Google Scholar
  36. Yao, X., M. Turoff, and M. Chumer, “Designing a Group Support System to Review and Practice Emergency Plans in Virtual Teams,” in Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), 2009.Google Scholar
  37. Zigurs, I., “Leadership in Virtual Teams: Oxymoron or Opportunity?” Organizational Dynamics, 31, 4, 2002, 339–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jacksonville State UniversityJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.New Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

Personalised recommendations