Role Improvising Under Conditions Of Uncertainty: A Classification of Types

Webb, Gary R.
Beverly, Michael
McMichael, Megan
Noon, James
Patterson, Tabitha
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Disaster Research Center
Based on archival data from the Disaster Research Center, this paper presents an empirically derived classification of the various ways key responders to natural disasters, technological crises, and civil disturbances improvise their role performances during the emergency response period. Five types of role improvising are identified: procedural changes, status changes, normative-order changes, equipment changes, and location/facility changes. T-test and crosstabs are used to examine the relationship between type of disaster event and type of role improvising, and intraclass correlation coefficients are used to assess the inter-rater reliability of the classification scheme. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of the classification scheme for future studies of role improvising in both routine and non-routine social settings and for the practice of emergency management.
role , disaster , improvisation , inter-rater reliability , natural disaster , structuralist theories , interactionist theories