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An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management


Brooks, B and Curnin, S and Bearman, C and Owen, C and Rainbird, S, An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management, Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 31, (4) pp. 38-43. ISSN 1324-1540 (2016) [Refereed Article]


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The management of major emergencies is strongly influenced by the decisions made during the event. Decisions guide the distribution and subsequent deployment of assets, the removal of people from harm’s way, how objectives are established and a myriad of other actions. Decision-making is therefore an important skill for emergency managers that permeates every emergency event and every level of disaster management. The vast majority of decisions made during an incident are effective enough in both process and outcome, but the drive for continual improvement and the need to manage more extreme events requires decision-making to become sophisticated and to achieve even higher levels of reliability.

So how well are emergency management organisations integrating acknowledged developments in the understanding of decisionmaking? Where are the opportunities for continual improvement? What are some of the challenges that the expert decision-maker is required to balance across an event?

This paper examines key concepts that have progressed the understanding of decision-making. A review of preliminary interactions with end-users of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC (CRC) research project ‘Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex situations’ considers how Australian and New Zealand are using this knowledge to make decisions. Opportunities for improvement and the approaches being taken to evaluate cognitive decision tools for end-users are identified.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:strategic decision making, emergency disaster management
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Other law, politics and community services
Objective Field:Other law, politics and community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Brooks, B (Associate Professor Benjamin Brooks)
UTAS Author:Curnin, S (Dr Steven Curnin)
UTAS Author:Owen, C (Dr Christine Owen)
ID Code:112089
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Seafaring
Deposited On:2016-10-26
Last Modified:2017-11-07
Downloads:120 View Download Statistics

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