Information sharing during crisis management in hierachival vs. network teams

Johannes Martinus Cornelis Schraagen, Mirjam Huis in 't Veld, Lisette de Koning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
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This study examines the differences between hierarchical and network teams in emergency management. A controlled experimental environment was created in which we could study teams that differed in decision rights, availability of information, information sharing, and task division. Thirty-two teams of either two (network) or three (hierarchy) participants (N=80 in total) received messages about an incident in a tunnel with high-ranking politicians possibly being present. Based on experimentally induced knowledge, teams had to decide as quickly and as accurately as possible what the likely cause of the incident was: an attack by Al Qaeda, by anti-globalists, or an accident. The results showed that network teams were overall faster and more accurate in difficult scenarios than hierarchical teams. Network teams also shared more knowledge in the difficult scenarios, compared with the easier scenarios. The advantage of being able to share information that is inherent in network teams is thus contingent upon the type of situation encountered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of contingencies and crisis management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • METIS-270358
  • IR-94604


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