In this study, we examined the role of physical space in the coordination of crisis response operations. Drawing on Lefebvre’s theory of spatial production, we build on two case studies exploring the unfolding spatial coordination practices of relief organizations in two refugee camps in Greece and Uganda. Our study yielded three main results. First, we show how coordination occurs not only in space but also through space. The actors we observed both designed and enacted physical space in their efforts to coordinate relief operations. Second, we identified three different practices of spatial coordination—which we termed authoritarian, responsive, and collaborative spatial coordination—showing how each plays a distinct role in different crisis situations. Third, building on a process model of spatial coordination practices, we show how the successive combination of different practices allows for balancing coordinative complexity.
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Daniel Geiger is Professor for Organization Studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany. He obtained his PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin, worked as Research Fellow of the Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) at the University of Liverpool and as Associate Professor at the University of Linz (Austria). He is a member of the Executive Board of the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) and is Visiting Professor for Qualitative Methods at the Ugandan Management Institute. In his research he is interested in the dynamics of organizational routines, particularly in situations of crisis and emergencies. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with firefighters and humanitarian aid organizations and studied among others the coordination of the refugee crisis in Northern Uganda. His research is published in the major Management and Organization Studies journals such as: Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Organization Studies, Organization, Journal of Management Studies, Management Learning.
Online via MS Teams
Thursday 21 October 2021, 13:30 - 15:00
024 765 24503