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Information flow and teamwork in major incidents


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Owen, C ORCID: 0000-0002-1985-7886 2008 , 'Information flow and teamwork in major incidents', paper presented at the Fire, Environment and Society conference, 1 - 3 September, 2008, Adelaide, Australia.

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This paper reports research in progress into a study of information flow and teamwork in Incident Management Teams (IMTs) in Australia. The research project, funded by the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre, aims to work with stakeholders to improve teamwork effectiveness and subsequent organizational (and cross-organizational) learning in response to major fire and emergency incidents. The research design includes interviews with experienced personnel, and observations of real-time incidents and training simulations. Data is currently being analysed for technologies in use, quantity and quality of interactions between IMT functions; the nature of activity and the kinds of problems encountered in IMT work as well as the ways in which artefacts are used to develop shared understanding, including the impact of the introduction of new technologies. The presentation aims to contribute to an understanding of what enables and constrains effective teamwork and information flow within major fire-related incidents in Australia. Outcomes include suggested configurations for incident control centres; identification of points of vulnerability in information flow between functions and strategies that may be useful for input into IMT training to enhance safety and effectiveness in the future.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Authors/Creators:Owen, C
Keywords: teamwork, emergency, incident management, high reliability organizing
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