University Of Tasmania

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Managing the constraints of boundary spanning in emergency management

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 03:51 authored by Steven CurninSteven Curnin, Christine OwenChristine Owen, Trist, C
Stakeholders tasked with boundary spanning in emergency management are fundamental in facilitating multi-agency coordination. However, there is a scarcity of research investigating the characteristics of emergency management boundary spanners and how they achieve this function in the complex environment of emergency operation centres. An exploratory case study approach was adopted and applied in a strategic-level emergency operations centre. The study used three very different but interrelated qualitative research techniques based upon the Core-Task Analysis framework to categorize the work of stakeholders fulfilling a boundary spanning role in this setting. The data identified that stakeholders performing boundary spanning activities in a strategic-level emergency operations centre face a number of constraints. These can include unfamiliarity with the work domain, its personnel, and structure which can lead to temporal, cultural and information challenges. In order to manage these constraints, boundary spanners working in a strategic-level emergency operations centre need to adopt certain characteristics in order to accomplish their activities. A significant outcome from the data was the necessity to engage in these important undertakings in the pre-response phase in an effort to facilitate successful multi-agency coordination in an actual emergency event


Publication title

Cognition, Technology and Work










Faculty of Education


Springer UK

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2014 Springer-Verlag London

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other information and communication services not elsewhere classified