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Towards the mitigation of cultural barriers to communication and cooperation
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial ergonomics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4735-8697
2007 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis combines theories from cross-cultural psychology with literature on group faultlines to understand cultural barriers to communication and cooperation experienced in multinational emergency management teams. The aim is to investigate whether the faultline concept is a viable theoretical vocabulary for addressing cultural differences in communication and cooperation (in the domain of emergency management). Culture is defined as a relatively organized system of shared meanings which influences people’s cognition, values, behaviors, and so on. Group faultlines are hypothetical dividing lines that may split a team into homogeneous subgroups based on demographic characteristics. Three papers are included in the thesis, all of which investigate various aspects of group behavior in relation to emergency management. Results suggest that faultlines can be formed not only by demographic characteristics, but also by culturally-driven behavior. The results presented in the papers and in this thesis are meant to supply emergency management personnel with general knowledge of cultural differences and ideas for future ‘cultural awareness’ training. The thesis contributes to the scientific community by taking cross-cultural research into the applied domain so that its findings can be made relevant to people in multinational organizations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling; Linköpings universitet , 2007. , 65 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1300
Series
LiU-Tek-Lic-2007:9
Keyword [en]
multinational cooperation, cultural differences, cross-cultural psychology, emergency management, teamwork, microworlds, group faultlines
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10433ISBN: 978-91-85715-75-6 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-10433DiVA: diva2:17174
Presentation
2007-02-23, A:35, A, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2014-12-19
List of papers
1. A case study of information and communication technology in emergency management training
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A case study of information and communication technology in emergency management training
2006 (English)In: International Journal of Emergency Management, ISSN 1471-4825, E-ISSN 1741-5071, Vol. 3, no 4, 332-347 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses the roles of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in training for effective emergency management and inter-organisational coordination. Collocation can encourage the development of common ground and trust and, in turn, result in greater efficiency and effectiveness. We expect to find communication and artefact use during collocated training that cannot readily transfer to the ICT used to link distributed work settings. This expectation makes the reliance on ICT and distributed work during emergency management operations suspect. To test these claims, we observed a large-scale, real-time exercise designed to facilitate cooperation among electricity and telecommunications companies. The exercise scenario was similar to the January 2005 windstorm that left much of southern Sweden without electricity or telephone service and revealed the need for better cooperation among utility providers. The observations suggest that while collocation is clearly beneficial, a mismatch in ICT use between collocated training and distributed emergency management operations is likely to be detrimental for preparedness.

Keyword
emergency management; training; artefact use; collocated work; distributed work; real-time exercise; inter-organisational coordination; cooperation; information technology; communications; ICT; Sweden; electricity companies; telecommunications companies
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12838 (URN)10.1504/IJEM.2006.011300 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-14
2. Using Microworlds to Understand Cultural Influences on Distributed Collaborative Decision Making in C2 Settings
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using Microworlds to Understand Cultural Influences on Distributed Collaborative Decision Making in C2 Settings
2006 (English)In: Proceedings from the 11th International Command and Control Research and Technology Symposium , Cambridge, UK, 26-28 September, 2006Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

As a means to facilitate coordination of international relief teams during sudden onset disasters, the UN has formed a structure called the On Site Operations Coordination Center (OSOCC). The main objective of the OSOCC is to coordinate international relief teams and help local authorities re-establish control in the affected area. As with any operation where people from different parts of the world are involved, multiculturalism can become an issue. Differences in values, norms and attitudes can create problems in communication, planning and execution of the operation. We use the C3Fire microworld and the Schwartz Value Survey as our main instruments to study cultural influences in command and control decision making in simulated OSOCC. The C3Fire microworld has been used extensively in research on networked-based command and control. Augmented with observation of a real OSOCC exercise, the experimental studies provide the basis for formulating clusters of behavioral differences in command and control that one can expect to encounter during an international operation. Results show that culturally-driven differences in planning and leadership style can pose potential barriers to efficient decision making in multicultural command-and-control centers.

Keyword
C2 Experimentation, Social Domain Issues, Cognitive Domain Issues
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12839 (URN)
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2014-12-19
3. Identifying Cross-Cultural Group Faultlines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Identifying Cross-Cultural Group Faultlines
Manuscript (Other academic)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12840 (URN)
Available from: 2007-12-19 Created: 2007-12-19 Last updated: 2010-01-13

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Lindgren, Ida

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