A Contingency Theory of Organizational Response to Paradoxical Requirements:
A Study of Emergency Response Organizations
This programme studies how emergency response organizations in the Netherlands and the United States cope with the demands they must address while responding to crises. The main goal is to study how professionals in each country manage the challenges that they face in order to identify strategies in use and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of those strategies. This project contributes through basic research that develops a more general theory of paradox, response and organizational change. The research also has the potential to ground the development of more systematic instruments for assessing paradox, moderating contingencies, and responses. The project also contributes to our understanding of emergency response organizations, an important type of organization that is representative of networked organizations and fluid organizational forms. Emergency response is a critical function in society. By furthering our understanding of emergency response the project can yield practical advice on how to cope with conflicting demands in emergency situations. This can inform design of structures and processes for emergency response organizations. The programme intents to perform multidisciplinary research towards the crisis management domain at several levels (multi-level research) and share the findings with practitioners and scholars in the U.S.A. and the Netherlands.
Timeframe: 2010-2013 (research will be continued after 2013)