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Title: Examining the intergovernmental and interorganizational network of responding to major accidents for improving the emergency management system in China
Authors: Tang, P 
Chen, HJ
Shao, SQ
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Hindawi
Source: Complexity, 2018, 8935872, p. 1-16 How to cite?
Journal: Complexity 
Abstract: Since the SARS crisis in 2003, institutionalized emergency management systems have been established in each government level for improving inter-organizational collaboration in China. Major accidents require participation of public organizations affiliated with multiple government levels, and the lack of collaboration and coordination among the involved organizations within the critical time constraints during the response process is an existing problem. In this research, a case study of examining the intergovernmental and cross-sectoral collaboration for responding to a well-known oil pipeline explosion accident in China by a complex network method is conducted. The aim is to obtain managerial insights in improving the existing emergency management system in a centralized political-administrative context, such as China. A mixed method of data collection is applied to identify the participating organizations and to determine the interaction spanning organizational boundaries in both hierarchical and horizontal dimensions. An emergency response network is built and visualized for representing intergovernmental and interorganizational collaboration during the response process of the major accident by social network analysis (SNA) tools. The SNA indicators are used to measure quantitatively the network structure at the levels of the whole network, subnetwork, and node. The obstacles of achieving intergovernmental collaboration are found, and managerial suggestions for improving the existing emergency management system are provided. This research indicates that the Chinese government should pay attention to establishing and sustaining partnerships with private and nonprofit organizations and conduct a blend of hierarchical, market, and network principles in fostering collaboration for addressing major accidents. The public organizations in the local government level are shown to be more active than other participators in coordinating their response operations, and their capability should be emphasized for improvement. Additionally, the interactive relationships among specific emergency function groups and between the affected communities and organizations performing emergency command and coordination function should be strengthened.
ISSN: 1076-2787
EISSN: 1099-0526
DOI: 10.1155/2018/8935872
Rights: Copyright © 2018 Pan Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The following publication Tang, P., Chen, H.J., & Shao, S.Q. (2018). Examining the intergovernmental and interorganizational network of responding to major accidents for improving the emergency management system in China. Complexity, 8935872, 1-16 is available at
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