Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Management Information Systems

First Advisor's Name

Irma Becerra-Fernandez

First Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Weidong Xia

Third Advisor's Name

Mary Ann Von Glinow

Fourth Advisor's Name

Steve Zanakis

Keywords

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Sharing, Disaster Management, Exploration, Exploitation, Task Performance

Date of Defense

4-29-2011

Abstract

Each disaster presents itself with a unique set of characteristics that are hard to determine a priori. Thus disaster management tasks are inherently uncertain, requiring knowledge sharing and quick decision making that involves coordination across different levels and collaborators. While there has been an increasing interest among both researchers and practitioners in utilizing knowledge management to improve disaster management, little research has been reported about how to assess the dynamic nature of disaster management tasks, and what kinds of knowledge sharing are appropriate for different dimensions of task uncertainty characteristics.

Using combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods, this research study developed the dimensions and their corresponding measures of the uncertain dynamic characteristics of disaster management tasks and tested the relationships between the various dimensions of uncertain dynamic disaster management tasks and task performance through the moderating and mediating effects of knowledge sharing.

Furthermore, this research work conceptualized and assessed task uncertainty along three dimensions: novelty, unanalyzability, and significance; knowledge sharing along two dimensions: knowledge sharing purposes and knowledge sharing mechanisms; and task performance along two dimensions: task effectiveness and task efficiency. Analysis results of survey data collected from Miami-Dade County emergency managers suggested that knowledge sharing purposes and knowledge sharing mechanisms moderate and mediate uncertain dynamic disaster management task and task performance. Implications for research and practice as well directions for future research are discussed.

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