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Title: The dynamics of organisational response: simulating cultural change

Authors: Colin E. Beech; Rachel A. Dowty; William A. Wallace

Addresses: CNSI, Computer Systems Functional Lead, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70806, USA. ' Department of Geography and Anthropology, Disaster Science and Management Program, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803, USA. ' Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, 12180, USA

Abstract: The goal of this research is to develop a computer simulation that determines the point at which an organisation's culture will change when responding to disaster situations. Different organisations' cultural biases shape how they resolve accumulated response tasks and deal with the disruptions of novel tasks. Called Organizational Response Culture in Disaster Simulation (ORCiDS), the simulation is applied to four organisations, each with a different cultural bias at the outset of the disaster, to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. The data demonstrates how cultural biases lead to different outcomes for organisations that face similar circumstances but have very different cultural lenses for interpreting those circumstances. The importance of this research is to model organisational stability and instability to better enable managers and administrators to circumvent pitfalls associated with poor organisational response. The ultimate goal of this ongoing research is to be able predict the point at which an organisation's culture will change in times of crisis.

Keywords: organisational culture; computer simulation; disaster response; cultural theory; Mary Douglas; culture change; organisational response; emergency response; Hurricane Katrina; cultural bias; emergency management; modelling; organisational stability; organisational instability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCLM.2012.050399

International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2012 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.74 - 103

Published online: 27 Aug 2014 *

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