Title: Brokerage roles in disaster response: organisational mediation in the wake of Hurricane Katrina

Authors: Benjamin E. Lind, Miguel Tirado, Carter T. Butts, Miruna Petrescu-Prahova

Addresses: Department of Sociology, 3151 Social Science Plaza, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697–5100, USA. ' Department of Health, Human Services and Public Policy, California State University, Monterey Bay, Seaside, CA 93955, USA. ' Department of Sociology, 3151 Social Science Plaza, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697–5100, USA; Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, 2145 Social Science Plaza A, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697–5100, USA. ' Department of Sociology, 3151 Social Science Plaza, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697–5100, USA

Abstract: When one organisation serves as an intermediary for two other organisations which are not in direct contact, that organisation is said to engage in brokerage behaviour. Using the case of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, this study demonstrates the use of formal brokerage measures to study communication among the responding organisations. We apply the brokerage role typology put forth by Gould and Fernandez (1989) to communication networks among the responding organisations in two communities: Saint Bernard Parish, Louisiana and Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi. We find that relatively few organisations perform most of the brokerage; primarily, these brokering organisations were locally based. The implications for predisaster planning are discussed.

Keywords: social network analysis; brokerage behaviour; bridging; Hurricane Katrina; disaster response; emergent multiorganisational networks; organisational response; resource allocation; communication networks; centrality; emergency management; predisaster planning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2008.019908

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2008 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.75 - 99

Available online: 15 Aug 2008 *

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