An analysis of the delayed response to hurricane Katrina through the lens of knowledge management

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An analysis of the delayed response to hurricane Katrina through the lens of knowledge management
Authors: Alton Y. K. Chua, Selcan Kaynak, Schubert S. B. Foo [edit item]
Citation: Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 58 (3): 391-403. 2007.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
Database(s):
DOI: 10.1002/asi.20521.
Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
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An analysis of the delayed response to hurricane Katrina through the lens of knowledge management is a publication by Alton Y. K. Chua, Selcan Kaynak, Schubert S. B. Foo.


[edit] Abstract

In contrast to many recent large-scale catastrophic events, such as the Turkish earthquake in 1999, the 9/11 attack in New York in 2001, the Bali Bombing in 2002, and the Asian Tsunami in 2004, the initial rescue effort towards Hurricane Katrina in the U.S. in 2005 had been sluggish. Even as Congress has promised to convene a formal inquiry into the response to Katrina, this article offers another perspective by analyzing the delayed response through the lens of knowledge management (KM). A KM framework situated in the context of disaster management is developed to study three distinct but overlapping KM processes, namely, knowledge creation, knowledge transfer, and knowledge reuse. Drawing from a total of more than 400 documents - including local, national, and foreign news articles, newswires, congressional reports, and television interview transcripts, as well as Internet resources such as wikipedia and blogs - 14 major delay causes in Katrina are presented. The extent to which the delay causes were a result of the lapses in KM processes within and across the government agencies are discussed.

[edit] Research questions

"this paper seeks to assess the extent to which the sluggish response was a result of the poor management of knowledge within and across agencies involved in Katrina. To achieve this objective, a KM framework situated in the context of disaster management is developed to study three distinct but overlapping KM processes, namely, knowledge creation, knowledge transfer and knowledge reuse."

Research details

Topics: News source [edit item]
Domains: Knowledge management [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Sample data [edit item]
Theories: "The SECI model, one of the most widely-quoted knowledge creation models, describes the spiral conversion between tacit and explicit knowledge (Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995).

To achieve this objective, a KM framework situated in the context of disaster management is developed to study three distinct but overlapping KM processes, namely, knowledge creation, knowledge transfer and knowledge reuse." [edit item]

Research design: Content analysis, Discourse analysis [edit item]
Data source: Documents, Websites, Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Cross-sectional [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Subject [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Not specified [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"The findings reveal that the delay causes were inter-related and were largely traceable to the lapses in the KM processes within and across agencies involved in Katrina. Three main KM implications for disaster management are as follows.

First is the high cost of the knowledge-doing chasm in the knowledge creation process. Capturing and analysing disaster data cannot be mere cognitive activities confined within the intellectual sphere, but they must be dovetailed with tangible, follow-up actions.

Next, to facilitate knowledge transfer process particularly in large-scale disaster that demands the involvement of multiple agencies, it is imperative to establish a unified command structure. Confusion and chaos often stem from not having a clear chain of command.

Third, the precursor to knowledge reuse in disaster management is an accurate assessment of a disaster severity. The underestimation of Katrina’s impact was the start of a series of mistakes in managing the incident."

[edit] Comments


Further notes[edit]