NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED538416
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 132
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-8399-6
Investigating Information Technologies in Disasters: Three Essays on Micro-Blogging and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Environment
Li, Pu
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo
This dissertation aims to investigate how advanced information technologies cope with the various demands of disaster response. It consists of three essays on the exploration of micro-blogging and FOSS environments. The first essay looks at the usage of micro-blogging in the aftermath of the massive 2008 China earthquake and explores the question whether micro-blogging could replace mainstream media information channels or merely supplement them in the manner of distributing disaster information. Twitter is used as a proxy for micro-blogging in general and the mainstream media information channel is used as the benchmark. In this essay, we focused on two sets of theories which are well known in the IS domain: Information Quality and Collective Intelligence. Information quality (IQ) has been defined as a measure of the "fitness for use" of information (Wang and Strong (1996)). Parker et al (2006) has adapted a framework of thirteen information quality dimensions, which includes: accessibility, accuracy, appropriateness and so on. Delone and Mclean (1992; 2003) also incorporated information quality as one of the determinants that affect the success of information systems in their proposed IS Success Model. In this essay, we focus on four dimensions: Timeliness, Accessibility, Accuracy, and Completeness. Regarding collective intelligence, Web 2.0 applications provide a platform or social network to facilitate communication, information sharing, and collaboration between its users. The concept of collective intelligence has been embraced in nearly all areas where extensive collaboration is a necessity. They have become a new means to collect the wisdom of different groups of people to enable greater productivity and facilitate more meaningful decisions than are possible by individuals working in isolation (Gregg 2010). We argue that micro-blogging can provide integrated and speedy information regarding disaster news. It serves as an excellent supplement to the traditional information channels, and if the circumstances of a situation were to render micro-blogging as the only effective communication tool available, it could certainly serve as a replacement in the short period of time after the disaster happens The second essay is a case study looking at the deployment of FOSS systems through the collaborative efforts of public and private entities in joint disaster response. Much previous IS research has fallen in the FOSS domain. This essay aims to identify the key factors that affect the potentials for response organizations to explore humanitarian FOSS systems as a novel and economically preferable approach for disaster management. From a collaborative system deployment perspective, it also helps to better understand how the government and private organization partnership in this area may be initiated, how to encourage government to better support their deployment, and how to coordinate with different organizations and leverage the FOSS advantage to the maximum extent. Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework developed by Tornatzkey and Fleischer (1990) was the major theoretical foundation adopted in this essay. The third essay again touches on the micro-blogging environment and explores how communication patterns evolve on twitter in the midst of a disaster. This essay utilizes data from the period after the 2011 Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami with regards to the radiation threat from the Fukushima reactors. Risk communication is the major theory that we used in the third essay. The media plays an important role in risk communication. It not only provides information, but also brings the public's attention to urgent issues. Slovic (1999) examined risk assessment and the relationship to public perceptions and stated "risk is the socially constructed sum of hazards and public perceptions". Even though the most perfect risk communication may not solve all problems or conflicts, a poor one could lead to an overall failure of risk perception and risk management. We analyze the pattern of alarming, reassuring, and assuring coverage in the different time periods following the event, and check the different conditions under which the communication patterns change. Again tying in to our first paper where we compare Twitter to mainstream media coverage, findings here expand upon prior research regarding the content of traditional media coverage of a 'hot crisis' by looking at how the content of this new communications medium is similar and different. Finally, governmental information is also communicated in the micro-blogging environment. We examine how the public reacts to this information on Twitter under different circumstances. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Japan