“Measuring Collaboration in Multi-Agency Disaster Response Exercises”

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The term collaboration has connotations of collaborators peaceably – and perhaps effortlessly – overcoming differences, but theorizing about the communicative processes that constitute collaboration have not fully addressed the need for conflict management. To better understand conflict processes in interorganizational collaboration, the present study operationalizes collaborative interaction – a term proposed by Lewis (2006) – as well as Poole's (2013) concept of confrontation. The resulting model proposes relationships between collaborative communication behaviors, confrontive communication behaviors, motivations for such behaviors, and collaborators' satisfaction. To develop and test the model, I surveyed disaster response professionals about their perceptions of a recent multi-agency disaster response exercise. I found that both collaborative interaction and confrontation showed a strong positive association with exercise participants' satisfaction with the exercise. Motivations, such as the anticipated benefit for the participant's home agency and the impression that other participating agencies appeared motivated to learn, also showed strong positive associations with participants' satisfaction.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Nov 2015
EventNational Communication Association - Las Vegas, NV
Duration: Nov 1 2015Nov 30 2015


ConferenceNational Communication Association


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