The purpose of this study is to identify and determine the most prevalent factors influencing the performance of temporary disaster response teams.
After a literature review on team performance and temporary organizations, this study uses the grounded theory approach, based on 13 years of United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination mission data.
Generic individual skills and a heterogeneous team composition are key. Speed of deployment trumps thoroughness of preparation. Partner organizations should contribute supporting capacities. Necessary leadership skills are simple rather than arcane. Uncontrollable factors must be accepted. Creativity plays only a small role.
Prioritize transferable competencies when selecting team members. Compose teams with regional, but not global, diversity. Reduce team leader training to basic leadership skills.
The intersection between temporary organizations and the performance of multinational disaster response teams is unexplored. Research aimed at increasing disaster response performance can contribute to human lives saved and advance general management and organization studies.
The author thanks Peter Muller and his team (UNDAC Global Lead, Emergency Response Section, UN OCHA) for great collaboration on retrieving the data and for the inspiring discussions on the practical implications.
Wegmann, R.M. (2020), "A grounded theory for the performance of temporary disaster response teams", Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 155-172. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOEPP-04-2020-0059Download as .RIS
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