Unit 12:The effects of continual disruption

8th Semester

(ICTs) are changing the way that citizens are responding to environmental disruptions.In conflict zones it can be dangerous for people to travel and maintain their normal activities.With technologies such as the mobile phone and Internet applications, people can coordinate and communicate
Technologies to aid resilient behavior

  • Ability to quickly recover from difficulties
  • how people ‘bounce back’ and persevere despite the situation

During various types of disasters, people have improvised by altering their work locations
Wall Street trading organization moved to a temporary site following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and resumed operations six days after the event.People improvise by modifying their work hours in order to accommodate growing needs
Resources also play a critical role in enabling resilient behavior. When disruption occurs, people often improvise the tools or equipment used to perform tasks.
Resilience has been observed according to people’s ability to improvise by assuming various organizational roles, or developing new roles

Research setting

The Israel–Lebanon war (July 12, 2005 to August 14, 2006)

  • sirens notifying citizens of impending danger were altering the way in which people were accustomed to managing their daily lives. When people heard a siren, they would often halt what they were doing and flee to the nearest bomb shelter.
  • Lastly, many fled the impact area and sought refuge in other countries or safe zones within the south of Israel.

For those not living in Northern Israel, it was as if a war was not taking place; people were conducting their daily lives as usual.
Gulf War in Iraq(1980–88)

  • The UN embargo (1990–2003)
  • Iraq was cut off from all technological development during this time.
  • Iraqis had very limited access to ICTs during these years and were almost completely isolated from the world outside as a result of the strong censorship and monitoring of information flow by the Ba’ath regime in power at that time.

Despite the challenges, there has been a widespread uptake of ICTs, especially cellular phones, since these technologies became available early in 2003.Major cities are reported to have relatively widespread access to the Internet and cell phones have been adopted by most demographics.Unlike Israel, however, the Internet and cellular networks are unreliable – our informants have reported that their communications networks do not work all the time.

Technological resources supporting resilience

Investigation revealed that civilians living in these war zones were highly innovative in their ability to maintain various aspects of their lives


  • The informants have adopted and re-appropriated technologies, e.g. Internet and cellular phones, to conduct virtual work from safe locations, eliminating the need to travel to and from work in a dangerous environment.
  • In fact, those informants whose work was the least disrupted had conducted virtual work before the war.
  • For example, one Israeli engineer, who worked for a large distributed multinational corporation in distributed teams, was able to take his laptop with him
  • He continued to participate in his distributed international team, even while in intensive training.


  • Despite their inability to socialize in collocated settings, through the adoption and use of technological resources (e.g. the mobile phone, Instant Messenger and Facebook)
  • But social trust had declined :- Difficult to know who is your friend and who is your enemy
  • A new practice emerged :using technology to meet people online.
  • The new friends they made were located in various countries ranging from the United States and China to other Middle Eastern countries.
  • Some people even  initiated romantic relationships with people they met online, one of which led to marriage.
  • This denotes a structural shift in Iraqi society, as traditionally people find suitable marriage partners through familial and friend-based connections.


  • Using CDs, flash ROMs, and message boards, students began to archive course materials.
  • Students who missed class could then go to copy centers to pick up what they missed.
  • If the Internet network was available, notes were also uploaded to a message board created by a medical student where students could provide updates on whether classes were to be held, as well as to discuss course material and share information.
  • When students could not attend anatomy or pathology laboratories, they could obtain pictures of slides or dissections taken by students with digital cameras. These pictures were available on CDs. In these cases, students were proactive in using technological resources to continue their education.


  • The cell phone is central in helping to organize the transportation, as well as figuring out the route to take.
  • Practice of using cell phones to organize car pools with others in their community, place of study, or workplace.
  • They developed trust-based travel arrangements where they would call friends from before the war and family members to seek trustworthy drivers who would not harm them.
  • social networks to determine which routes to take when attempting to reach their destinations
  • Less reliance on public media like announcements and TV


  • News from one source would typically be checked against that reported by another source from the same medium
  • Cross-checks performed by an individual usually depends on how important the information is and the impact it will have on the individual’s everyday activities.
  • Information is also cross-checked against personal accounts of events by individuals within their personal social network.
  • Several informants reported they would typically contact a friend or relative by cell phone, e-mail or Instant Messaging to verify a popular media report
  • rely on people. I rely on the people who were actually there, where the disturbance occurred

Information system in crisis

The role of technology in crisis and emergency response organizations has drastically changed in the last ten years. Many of the challenges faced today are the results of organizational changes involving a move to more sophisticated technological platforms intended to improve existing work practices. Crisis and emergency response is also an area where lack of information has for a long time been a key ingredient. This notion still resides, even though much more information is available today. However, we believe the current information practice has much more potential. This chapter is an attempt to present and discuss possibilities for current and future information environments, and how these could be designed to better support ongoing work activities, organization, and situation awareness. The chapter presents insights into how key information sources such as verbal and visual information can be captured, stored, and used. It also discusses key components of an information environment.

Key information sources

Information can come from virtually anywhere — media, blogs, personal experiences, books, journal and magazine articles, expert opinions, encyclopedias, and web pages — and the type of information you need will change
depending on the question you are trying to answer. Look at the following sources of information. Notice the similarities between them.
1. Magazine
A magazine is a collection of articles and images about diverse topics of popular interest and current events. Usually these articles are written by journalists or scholars and are geared toward the average adult. Magazines may cover very “serious” material, but to find consistent scholarly information, you should use journals.

  • To find information or opinions about popular culture .
  • To find up-to-date information about current events .
  • To find general articles for people who are not necessarily specialists about the topic

2. Academic journal
A journal is a collection of articles usually written by scholars in an academic or professional field. An editorial board reviews articles to decide whether they should be accepted. Articles in journals can cover very specific topics or narrow fields of research.

  • when doing scholarly research
  • to find out what has been studied on your topic
  • to find bibliographies that point to other relevant research

Example :-Journal of Communication , The Historian , Journal of the American Medical Association
3. Database
A database contains citations of articles in magazines, journals, and newspapers. They may also contain citations to podcasts, blogs, videos, and other media types. Some databases contain abstracts or brief summaries of the articles, while other databases contain complete, full-text articles.

  •   when you want to find articles on your topic in magazines, journals or newspapers
  • Academic Search Complete (a general database)
  • Compendex (an engineering database)
  • ABI/Inform (a business database)

4. Newspapers
A newspaper is a collection of articles about current events usually published daily. Since there is at least one in every city, it is a great source for local information.

  • To find current information about international, national and local events
  • To find editorials, commentaries, expert or popular opinions
  • Example :- Roanoke Times , New York Times ,The Kathmandu post

5. Books
Books cover virtually any topic, fact or fiction. For research purposes, you will probably be looking for books that synthesize all the information on one topic to support a particular argument or thesis.

  • when looking for lots of information on a topic
  • to put your topic in context with other important issues
  • to find historical information
  • to find summaries of research to support an argument

6. Encyclopedia
Encyclopedias are collections of short, factual entries often written by different contributors who are knowledgeable about the topic. There are two types of encyclopedias: general and subject. General encyclopedias provide concise overviews on a wide variety of topics. Subject encyclopedias contain in-depth entries focusing on one field of study.

  •   when looking for background information on a topic
  • when trying to find key ideas, important dates or concepts
  • African-American Encyclopedia(subject encyclopedia)
  • Encyclopedia Americana(general encyclopedia)
  • World Book(general encyclopedia found online)

7. Web site
The Web allows you to access most types of information on the Internet through a browser. One of the main features of the Web is the ability to quickly link to other related information. The Web contains information beyond plain text, including sounds, images, and video. The important thing to do when using information on the Internet is to know how to evaluate it!

  •   to find current information
  • to find information about companies
  • to find information from all levels of government – federal to local
  • to find both expert and popular opinions •
  • to find information about hobbies and personal interests