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An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management

Source(s):  Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR)

This paper examines key concepts that have progressed the understanding of decision-making. A review of preliminary interactions with end-users of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC (CRC) research project 'Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex situations' considers how Australian and New Zealand are using this knowledge to make decisions. Opportunities for improvement and the approaches being taken to evaluate cognitive decision tools for end-users are identified.

This paper identifies several decision concepts that have emerged in the literature and identifies opportunities to improve the standard of decision-making. Analysis has assessed participating end-users in this CRC project to determine the degree to which they had embedded these concepts in operational environments. Initial outcomes include the following: 

  • Organisations build psychologically safe environments where team members can speak up, and where decision-makers are engaging in ‘sense-making’.
  • There is less effort being put into recognising when shifts in decision styles occur, in monitoring for bias and errors through meta-cognitive processes, or in managing the effect that recording has on ‘anchoring’ or fixing a decision-maker to a particular course of action.

Australian Journal of Emergency Management, Volume 31, Issue 4, August 2016, pp. 38-43. This document is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.



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  • An assessment of the opportunities to improve strategic decision-making in emergency and disaster management
  • Publication date 2016
  • Author(s) Brooks, Benjamin; Curnin, Steven; Bearman, Chris; Owen, Christine; Rainbird, Sophia
  • Number of pages 6 p.

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