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  • JOOPApril2021with_title

    Rights statement: 12m

    Accepted author manuscript, 403 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 1/01/50

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Communication and coordination across event phases: A Multi-Team System Emergency Response

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Publication StatusAccepted/In press
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper explores how multi-agency response teams communicate and coordinate in different phases of a simulated terrorist incident. Procedural guidelines state that responders should coordinate their response to a major emergency across two phases: “response” (when the incident is ongoing) and “recovery” (when the threat has subsided, but the legacy of the incident is ongoing). However, no research has examined whether these phases map to the behaviours of responders in situ. To address this, we used measures of communication and coordination to examine how behaviours evolved during a simulated terrorist incident in the U.K. We grounded our approach within the theoretical literature on multi-team systems. It was found that the current response/recovery classification does not fit the nuanced context of an emergency. Instead, a three-phase structure of “response/resolve/recovery” is more reflective of behaviour. It was also found that coordination between agencies improved when communication networks became less centralised. This suggests that collaborative working in multi-team systems may be improved by adopting decentralised communication networks.