Role clarity, swift trust and multi-agency coordination

Steven Curnin, Christine Owen, Douglas Paton, Cain Trist, David Parsons

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The purpose of this paper was to further the understanding of swift trust in temporary organizations by examining the role swift trust plays in emergency management coordination and how role clarity acts as an enabler within temporary organizational configurations. A qualitative interview study was conducted with 32 liaison officers working in three strategic-level emergency operations centres in Australia. Role clarity was identified as an important factor in the successful formation of emergency management temporary organizations by emergency services and critical infrastructure liaison officers working in multi-agency arrangements. By providing role clarity, liaison officers may enable collaborative working practices among organizations involved in emergency management and thus facilitate multi-agency coordination. The function of role clarity in the context of swift trust is largely overlooked in emergency management. Therefore, this study has contributed to the knowledge of swift trust by empirically verifying the impact of role clarity by liaison officers working in the research setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


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