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Assessing Public Sector Learning Following a Natural Disaster

Assessing Public Sector Learning Following a Natural Disaster
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Author(s): Thomas A. Bryer (Central Florida University, USA), Nail Öztaş (İstanbul Gelisim University, Turkey) and Robert C. Myrtle (University of Southern California, USA)
Copyright: 2019
Pages: 27
Source title: Multi-Level Governance in Developing Economies
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Tugba Ucma Uysal (Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Turkey) and Ceray Aldemir (Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5547-6.ch007


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Disasters are extreme events that usually requirg01e multiple stakeholders' involvement. Public, private, and third-sector actors; local, national, and international parties need to form a well-functioning multilevel network of disaster management and rescue to be able to cope with large and unexpected disasters. The lack of well-coordinated efforts, well-coordinated staff, and well-coordinated organizations is generally one of the main causes of failure to cope with major disasters. This chapter describes disaster management as a multilevel governance activity. It will illustrate the practical side of multilevel governance by emphasizing specifically the multilevel learning process of multilevel governance actors during times of crises. The authors review literature on organizational learning and network learning, both in normal times and during crises, and they assess learning following two major earthquakes that struck Turkey in 1999, separated in time by only 89 days. Five propositions are made regarding multilevel learning in times of crises: 1) Level of learning: there are three levels of learning (organizational, interorganizational network, and policy) during and after a crisis that are relevant to improved interorganizational network performance in future crises; 2) Depth of learning: the depth of learning (single-loop or double-loop) varies based on the stage of the crisis or disaster faced by network actors; 3) Method of learning: the methods of knowledge acquisition will vary based on the role or function of the organization or organizations within a network prior to the crisis event; 4) Learning dependency: learning at one level may be highly dependent on factors at other levels; and 5) Learning environment: there are a set of conditions that need to be met in an environment in order for a crisis to trigger learning in organizations, networks, and at the policy level.

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