Information Sharing across Group Boundaries by Knowledge Brokers during a Disaster – Lessons for the Tourism Industry

DOI 10.14707/ajbr.190061

Fahimi Ali
School of Business and IT, Wellington Institute of Technology, Wellington, New Zealand
Mohamad-Noor Salehhuddin Sharipudin
School of Multimedia Technology and Communication, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Kedah, Malaysia
Kim-Shyan Fam
Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand Harbin University of Commerce, Harbin, China

During disasters, information sharing across group boundaries is seen as highly significant. It requires extensive information sharing flow between different groups and individuals in the community, and among the different response teams. People who receive and share information during a disaster are also known as knowledge brokers (KB). The importance of information sharing during a disaster has been discussed in both academic and practitioner. However, very little attention has been paid to the individual level. This study explored the nature of cross-group boundary information sharing by knowledge brokers during a disaster, specifically in New Zealand. Our objective was to identify how KB assesses the veracity of the information they receive and to whom the information is relevant during a disaster.

We used multiple case studies via in-depth face-to-face interviews. Case studies were taken from past New Zealand disasters. The scenario experienced by the KB was the level of analysis. 10 different disasters involving 22 unique scenarios were analyzed. It was found that a KB went through two phases in deciding on the veracity and relevance of information they received. In both phases, KB received information across four types of boundaries and used different types of cognitive resources in the process.

Keywords: Information Sharing, Information Filtering, Information Veracity, Disaster Management, Tourism Industry, Knowledge Brokers

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