Call for Papers: Network Theory

Conference theme: Getting ready for the unexpected – IS for Crisis Management in a complex and uncertain world
Conference Dates: May 24-27 2015

TRACK 1: Collaboration and Network Theory

Download this call for papers: 01-ISCRAM2015_Collaboration and Network Theory_CfP

Introduction to the track

Difficulties in collaboration are a persisting problem in multi-agency response to disasters. Particular problems arise around the number of
agencies and actors involved and the kinds of connections needed between them. Decision-makers in complex and uncertain settings
may rely on foresight processes to plan and identify goals for uncertain futures, but actors in ad hoc situations lack time to develop multiple
scenarios of collaboration and its projected outcomes.

Sociological and computational network theories such as actor-network theory (ANT) or social network analysis (SNA) are useful lenses to gain
better understanding of these connections spanning from local to global levels (Comfort, Ko et al. 2004; Wachtendorf 2004; Kapucu,
Arslan et al. 2010; Sheperd and Williams 2014). With both approaches, dynamic network evolution can be investigated, in
complementary ways: computational network analysis simulates probable evolution of inter-organizational cooperation; sociological
network analysis retraces networks historically in narrative, qualitative studies. As the emergent interdisciplinary field of crisis studies
increasingly adopts network models, the aim of this track is to assess research results, address research gaps and to develop common
ground for future research.

This track will explore different approaches of network theory in crisis management to debate complementary perspectives. In-depth
empirical knowledge, quantitative and qualitative studies, back casts and forecasts, cases and simulations in order to analyze and explore
emerging networks are invited. Different levels of coordination, cooperation and collaboration (Turner 1976; Turoff, Hiltz et al. 2013)
in crises and disaster management will be addressed, and research should examine network dynamics from global, local or global-local
levels. Of particular interest are contributions to changing networks of responders involved in the different phases of disaster management
(i.e. preparedness, risk reduction, response, rehabilitation) as such transitions often remain opaque in the literature and create pitfalls for
actors, practices of data sharing and learning. Another focus is on long term perspectives, sustainable outcomes and of linking relief and

This track also invites studies focusing on the “dark side” of networked processes, namely exclusion and/or disruptive phenomena challenging
safety or locally sustainable solutions in mass collaborative settings. Finally, this track invites research on the broader role of visibility in Humanitarian
multi-agency disaster management, exploring the connection of donor needs and interests with symbolic action in emergencies and reconstruction.

Track topics

Expected submissions topics:

  • - Conceptualizations and models of collaboration in crisis management
  • - Collaboration networks case studies and best practices
  • - Integration and automatization of collaboration along the value chain and across organizations
  • - Design and implementation of technologies to facilitate collaboration in networked organizations
  • - Robustness, resilience and sustainability of networked structures and technologies
  • - Forecast and backcast instruments for dynamic networks
  • - Studies on transitions of response networks though out the crisis management cycle (preparedness, rick reduction, response and rehabilitation)
  • - Studies on actor network theory in crisis management
  • - Simulation and modeling of crisis management networks based on dynamic network analysis, social network analysis and complex networks
  • - Response network disruption and network exclusion in multiagency crisis management
  • - Global-local networks in humanitarian crisis management
  • - Competition, Distribution and Collaboration in crisis response network

Track Chair

Professor Dr. Ulrike Lechner

Universität der Bundeswehr München

Track Co-Chairs
Professor Kees Boersma

VU University Amsterdam

John Sabou

Center of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism, Leiden University


Christina Weber

SCE, University of Applied Sciences Munich


Corresponding Chair

Nadia Noori *

(Marie Curie Fellow)

La Salle BES – University Ramon Llull, Barcelona campus