Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management

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Volume 24 Issue 2 (June 2016), Pages 59-122

Organizing for the Big One: A Review of Case Studies and a Research Agenda for Multi‐Agency Disaster Response (pages 60-72)

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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