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Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Editor-in-Chief: Renda-Tanali, Irmak

Managing Editor: McGee, Sibel

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.757

CiteScore 2018: 1.19

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.442
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.613

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Cultural Influence on the Implementation of Incident Command System for Emergency Management of Natural Disasters

Jiin-Song Tsai / Cheryl S.F. Chi
Published Online: 2012-08-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1970


The emergency response to and management of natural disasters has become a special challenge and indispensable capability for all governments. Those who need to step into the breach at a moment’s notice must be able to manage conflicts arising from numerous concurrent tasks, clashes over jurisdictional differences, and disputes over various inextricable matters. This paper examines some unsuccessful cases of emergency management in Taiwan, Japan, and the United States. Their employment of the American Incident Command System (ICS) for quick-response actions is examined through the lens of culture theory. A simple framework is developed to illustrate the link between (1) Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (power distance, individualism versus collectivism, femininity versus masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term versus short-term orientation), (2) conflict management styles (collaborating, dominating, compromising, avoiding, and accommodating approaches), and (3) organizational cultures (pyramid, family, machine, and market). This framework consolidates the extant research on the applicability of culture typology to understand the effects of cultural distance on adopting emergency strategies and actions originally developed in a foreign country. This study attempts to explain how different cultural orientations uniquely influence how people handle emergency disasters and why directly implanting foreign approaches (i.e., practices, procedures, and organizations) is not always the best solution for resolving the issues besetting their emergency systems.

Keywords: disaster; emergency management; culture; cultural distance; conflict management style

About the article

Published Online: 2012-08-08

Citation Information: Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Volume 9, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1547-7355, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/1547-7355.1970.

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