Inter-Organizational Response to Disasters

  • 2016

Inter-Organizational Response to Disasters

Author:
James Paturas
Abstract:

Inter-organizational communication failures during times of real-world disasters impede the collaborative response of agencies responsible for ensuring the public’s health and safety. In the best of circumstances, communications across jurisdictional boundaries are ineffective. In times of crisis, when communities are grappling with the impact of a disaster, communications become critically important and more complex. Key factors for improving inter-organizational communications are critical thinking and problem-solving skills; inter-organizational relationships; as well as strategic, tactical and operational communications. Improving communication, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making requires a review of essential factors and leadership skills. Additionally, an analysis of the existing research, with an emphasis on the importance of establishing inter-organizational relationships before a real-time disaster event, is discussed. Inter-organizational relationships require a foundation that includes trust; collegiality; flexibility; expertise; openness; relational networking; and effective communications. Leaders must also be prepared to improve leadership skills through the continual development in each of these foundational areas.