Coordinating humanitarian information The problem of organizational and technical trajectories

Coordinating humanitarian information The problem of organizational and technical trajectories Purpose – This paper seeks to examine two humanitarian information coordination bodies. The goals of both coordination bodies are the same, to find mechanisms for multiple organizations, engaged in humanitarian relief, to coordinate efforts around information technology and management. Despite the similarity in goals, each coordination body has taken a different path, one toward defining the problem and solution in a more technical sense and the other as defining the problem and solution as more organizational in nature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper develops case studies of two coordinating bodies using qualitative methodologies. Findings – The data suggest that coordination bodies which pursue problems requiring low levels of organizational change are more likely to have visible successes. Coordination bodies that pursue a more challenging agenda, one that aims for information management or management of information technology in ways that require organizational change, are likely to face greater challenges and experience more failures. Research limitations/implications – The paper only examines two coordination bodies at one point in time thus claims can not be made about all coordination bodies and all information coordination efforts. Originality/value – In a time where coordination bodies are seen as an answer to the problem of information sharing during disasters, it is essential to gain understanding concerning the success of these efforts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Technology & People Emerald Publishing

Coordinating humanitarian information The problem of organizational and technical trajectories

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0959-3845
D.O.I.
10.1108/09593841211254312
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to examine two humanitarian information coordination bodies. The goals of both coordination bodies are the same, to find mechanisms for multiple organizations, engaged in humanitarian relief, to coordinate efforts around information technology and management. Despite the similarity in goals, each coordination body has taken a different path, one toward defining the problem and solution in a more technical sense and the other as defining the problem and solution as more organizational in nature. Design/methodology/approach – The paper develops case studies of two coordinating bodies using qualitative methodologies. Findings – The data suggest that coordination bodies which pursue problems requiring low levels of organizational change are more likely to have visible successes. Coordination bodies that pursue a more challenging agenda, one that aims for information management or management of information technology in ways that require organizational change, are likely to face greater challenges and experience more failures. Research limitations/implications – The paper only examines two coordination bodies at one point in time thus claims can not be made about all coordination bodies and all information coordination efforts. Originality/value – In a time where coordination bodies are seen as an answer to the problem of information sharing during disasters, it is essential to gain understanding concerning the success of these efforts.

Journal

Information Technology & PeopleEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 17, 2012

Keywords: Structuration theory; Cooperation; Coordination; Global information systems; Humanitarian NGOs; Coordination body; Non‐governmental organizations; Information systems

References

  • Successfully completing case study research: combining rigour, relevance and pragmatism
    Darke, P.; Shanks, G.; Broadbent, M.
  • Criticality of data quality as exemplified in two disasters
    Fisher, C.W.; Kingma, D.R.
  • Converging paths to notes: in search of computer‐based information systems in a networked company
    Karsten, H.
  • Collaborative systems development in disaster relief: the impact of multi‐level governance
    Maldonado, E.; Maitland, C.; Tapia, A.
  • Interaction, transformation and information systems development – an extended application of soft systems methodology
    Rose, J.
  • Making humanitarian relief networks more effective: operational coordination, trust and sense‐making
    Stephenson, M. Jr
  • The social shaping of technology
    Williams, R.; Edge, D.

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