Emerging coordination and knowledge transfer process during disease outbreak

Fadl Bdeir, Liaquat Hossain, John Crawford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When multiple agencies respond to a disease outbreak (i.e., H1N1 and SARS), the coordination of actions is complex and evolves over time. There has not been any systematic empirical study of the dynamics of emerging coordination behaviour and knowledge transfer process during a disease outbreak. In this paper, we first introduce our approach for the analysis of multi-agency intervention during a disease outbreak using the study of social networks. Using social networks and its analytic framework, we explore questions such as: How does the multi-agency coordination emerge for supporting the complex knowledge transfer process during different phases of disease outbreak? How effective are these formal and informal coordination mechanisms in achieving a robust outcome in response coordination through effective knowledge transfer process during the outbreak? What are the key lessons learned by studying the emerging coordination and knowledge transfer process during past disease outbreak in improving the multi-agency preparedness for dealing with future outbreaks? The discussion is supported by a qualitative study of the implementation of the results of the analysis. We reveal that profound understanding of social network behaviour and emerging coordination concepts are pivotal to the optimisation of knowledge transfer process which is a prerequisite for successful outbreak intervention. We look qualitatively at how Hunter New England Area Health Services applied these concepts to lead a successful coordination plan during an H1N109 endemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-254
Number of pages14
JournalKnowledge Management Research and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


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