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Taber, M. J., & Taber, N. (2013). Exploring emergency response: Theories of communities of practice, safety cultures, situation awareness, and tacit knowledge. International Journal of Emergency Management, 9(1), 46-58.


Abstract: This paper discusses theoretical constructs from various domains to

explore emergency response management. Using the Piper Alpha disaster as

an example, we argue that applying a communities of practice lens can

inform understandings of safety cultures, shared situation awareness, and

tacit knowledge. First, we briefly outline the Piper Alpha event and detail

communities of practice theory with a critical analysis of how it can be applied

to emergency response events with respect to safety cultures. Then, we connect

the development and maintenance of situation awareness and tacit knowledge

to our argument as it relates to actions performed in relation to the emergency

event. Finally, we provide a concluding discussion of the Piper Alpha disaster

in order explore implications for emergency response management.


Keywords: emergency response; communities of practice; situation awareness;

safety culture; tacit knowledge.

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