Inderscience Publishers

Returning to work after the big one: predicting staff priorities in a dual role agency

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

We outline a new application of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in studying the return to work behaviour of 190 staff in a local government organisation after a hypothetical 6.8 magnitude earthquake scenario based in Wellington, New Zealand. Attitudes and interdependencies between individuals and departments were examined using questionnaires, SNA and multidimensional scaling. Overall responsibility in the organisation affected attitudes to returning the most, while dependents had less effect than expected. Staff were also more motivated to return for their colleagues and the community, rather than economic or organisational reasons. Key staff and departments were determined and potential conflicts between internal and external functions of the organisation identified. Limitations are noted, however the methods used are presented as valuable tools to future emergency management research and business continuity planning.

Keywords: return to work, staff behaviour, natural disasters, emergency management, business continuity planning, social network analysis, SNA, multidimensional scaling, local government, earthquakes, New Zealand, motivation, emergency planning, crisis management

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