Each disaster presents itself with a unique set of characteristics that are hard to determine a priori. Using combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods, we develop the dimensions and their corresponding measures of the dynamic characteristics of disaster management tasks and test the relationships between the various dimensions of task uncertainty and knowledge sharing purposes. We conceptualize and assess task uncertainty along five dimensions: novelty, unanalyzability, amount of information, urgency, and impact. We distinguish knowledge sharing for knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation purposes. Analysis results of survey data collected from Miami-Dade County emergency managers suggest that knowledge sharing for the purpose of exploration is associated with tasks uncertainty dimensions of novelty, unanalyzability, and impact. In contrast, knowledge sharing for the purpose of exploitation is associated with task uncertainty dimensions of unanalyzability, amount of information, urgency, and impact. Implications for research and practice as well directions for future research are discussed.
Rocha, Jose; Becerra-Fernandez, Irma; Xia, Weidong; and Gudi, Arvind, "Dealing with Task Uncertainty in Disaster Management: The Role of Knowledge Sharing for Exploration and Exploitation" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 714.