Article Review

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Article Review

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Article Review


The paper is based on the article analysis with special emphasis on assessing the research question, theoretical framework of the research, implemented research design, and summary results. Furthermore, we will present our views and opinions on the significance and limitation of the research.

The Research Question

The research question in this article responds to the phenomenon as to how the organizations respond to surprises by shifting roles, reorganizing routines, and reassembling their work.

Theoretical Framework

Scholars have found that when surprises disrupt expectations, organization members respond by engaging in problem solving and trying to recreate the order that has been lost. To be able to quickly resume their work, they must have both the ability and the resources to respond to new conditions in an emergent manner. For instance, studies of “highreliability” organizations that face surprises depict resilience as the product of developing the ability to detect, contain, and rebound from problems.

Social and cognitive resources are also needed for organizations to respond to crises. Studies of disaster preparedness and hospital teams, for instance, have shown that having prearranged protocols helps organizations structure responses to emerging demands (Bigley & Roberts, 2001; Faraj & Xiao, 2006). Similarly, shared role systems have been found to enable action in response to dynamically evolving situations facing medical trauma teams, ship navigators, and firefighters (Hutchins, 1990; Klein, Ziegert, Knight, & Xiao, 2006; Weick, 1993). And Majchrak, Jarvenpaa, and Hollingshead (2007) argued that group-level cognitive systems could prove vital for responding to disasters. Taken together, these prior studies suggest that the material, social, and cognitive resources in organizations warrant attention, as they can be important tools for responding to unexpected situations facing organizations. However, research is less informative about the creation and accumulation of these resources, especially the social and cognitive processes involved. For instance, Bigley and Roberts (2001) described the structuring mechanisms, constrained improvisation, and cognition management methods of teams responding to emergency situations, but they touched only briefly on implications for organizations trying to develop the resources to implement these systems.

Similarly, the work of Miner and colleagues (Miner et al., 2001; Moorman & Miner, 1998) shows the benefits of cognitive resources such as organizational memory for improvisational action, but this work does not explain how organizations develop that collective knowledge. Finally, although scholars describe the troves of resources used in bricolage (Baker & Nelson, 2005; Ciborra, 1996), they have paid little conceptual attention to the processes by which organizations build the social and cognitive capacity to engage in bricolage.

Research Design and Method

The researcher gathered the data for this analysis in separate studies of one SWAT team and four film production crews.

Result Summary

Analysis of the data uncovered two sociocognitive resources that these groups relied on in their responses to surprises: shared task knowledge and common work flow expectations. Shared task knowledge is process knowledge, held by multiple group members, about how to complete activities or accomplish particular aspects of tasks. This knowledge was indispensable if people were to substitute for one another or ...
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