Title: The Borsele files: the challenge of acquiring usable data under chaotic circumstances

Authors: Rianne Gouman, Masja Kempen, Eddy Van der Heijden, Niek Wijngaards, Philip De Vree, Toon Capello

Addresses: D-CIS Lab, Thales Research & Technology Netherlands, Delftechpark 24, P.O. Box 90, NL-2600 AB, Delft, The Netherlands. ' D-CIS Lab, Thales Research & Technology Netherlands, Delftechpark 24, P.O. Box 90, NL-2600 AB, Delft, The Netherlands. ' D-CIS Lab, Thales Research & Technology Netherlands, Delftechpark 24, P.O. Box 90, NL-2600 AB, Delft, The Netherlands. ' D-CIS Lab, Thales Research & Technology Netherlands, Delftechpark 24, P.O. Box 90, NL-2600 AB, Delft, The Netherlands. ' Gemeente Borsele, Postbus 1, NL-4450 AA, Heinkenszand, The Netherlands. ' Gemeente Borsele, Postbus 1, NL-4450 AA, Heinkenszand, The Netherlands

Abstract: Conducting empirical research involves a balancing act between scientific rigor and real-life pragmatics. The Delft Co-operation on Intelligent Systems (D-CIS) laboratory researches systems-of-systems consisting of the human and artificial systems involved in collaborative decision-making under chaotic circumstances. An important objective is the usefulness of our results in our major application domain: crisis management. The D-CIS lab was involved in setting up a crisis management exercise experiment and the according measurements regarding an improvement in internal communication at Gemeente (Municipality) Borsele. In this paper, the empirical research regarding this experiment, the methodology and its results are briefly outlined. The main lessons learned concern the interrelationship between the scenario, experiment and measurements, the problem of acquiring usable data and the challenges of conducting grounded research.

Keywords: crisis management exercise; empirical research; experimental methodology; lessons learned; emergency management; collaborative decision making; chaos; internal communication.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2008.019907

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2008 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.57 - 74

Available online: 15 Aug 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article