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Title: Command and control in emergency services operations: A social network analysis
Authors: Houghton, RJ
Baber, C
McMaster, R
Stanton, NA
Salmon, PM
Stewart, R
Walker, GH
Keywords: Emergency response;Command and control;Social networks;Teams
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Ergonomics 49 (12-13): 1204-1225
Abstract: There is increasing interest in the use of social network analysis as a tool to study the performance of teams and organizations. In this paper, processes of command and control in the emergency services are explored from the perspective of social network theory. We report a set of network analyses (comprising visualization, a selection of mathematical metrics, and a discussion of procedures) based on the observation of six emergency service incidents: three fire service operations involving the treatment of hazardous chemicals, and three police operations involving immediate response to emergency calls. The findings are discussed in terms of our attempts to categorize the network structures against a set of extant command and control network archetypes and the relationship between those structures; comments on the qualities the networks display are put into the contexts of the incidents reported. We suggest that social network analysis may have a valuable part to play in the general study of command and control.
Appears in Collections:Ergonomics
Dept of Design Research Papers

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