Title: Modelling systemic learning of complex events: a case study of forest fires

Authors: Marie-Christine Therrien

Addresses: College of Business, Public Policy and Health, University of Maine, 5723 Donald P. Corbett Business Building, Orono, ME 04469–5723, USA

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to understand the learning acquisition and the transmission of experience processes by analysing the dysfunctions and the insufficiencies of forest fire management modes. A systemic model is developed in order to maintain the detailed complexity of the forest fire management system and to have access to the mental models of the managers. A case study methodology in the pragmatic tradition is needed to access the complexity that represents the forest fire management system. A model of the forest fire management system is built. This system is composed of facts that are included in the context and in the traces of the management processes in different ||instants||. Each instant has general elements of the management process that constitutes the surface of the instant as a holographic representation of the global context. The instant also possesses dynamic data that are present in the ||thickness of the instant||, representing a trace of the experience for each manager. The model is supported by a computer prototype where the managers can enter a forest fire case themselves. Over time, this will create an organisational memory bank of forest fire cases.

Keywords: organisational learning; modelling; danger sciences; experience transfer; knowledge transfer; disaster management; forest fires; emergency management; systemic learning; forest fire management; complexity; mental models.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2005.007360

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2005 Vol.2 No.3, pp.203 - 217

Published online: 11 Jul 2005 *

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