Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
Organizations responding to humanitarian crises often have different organizational cultures and observational lenses, presenting barriers to collaborative efforts at the outset of a crisis. The inherently chaotic nature of these crises exacerbates this problem, slowing the speed of response and the degree of efficacy of the response effort. Researchers have examined these organizational differences but have not defined barriers to mutuality and possible ways to overcome those barriers presenting a gap in knowledge. The purpose of this study was to fill this gap by offering areas to focus on to improve cultural awareness between disparate organizations. The central research question investigated the extent to which intrinsic value descriptions of organizational cultures provide opportunities to mitigate barriers between the military and humanitarian aid workers. A qualitative study using narrative ethnography was applied in answering this question. Two Participants were recruited from the military and two from civilian aid organizations based upon their experience and insight and their commensurate ability to relate the need for mutual understanding between their organizations. Data were collected through descriptive interviews of the participants' lived experiences in crisis response. The data were coded using existing theory on cultural dimensions from Project GLOBE and then analyzed using relational theory. The results confirmed a need for more effective coordination and unity of effort, which may be achieved through cultural understanding and which can result in a more efficient crisis response. These findings may ease the suffering encountered in humanitarian crises by improving the collaborative education of both military and civilian responders to these crises.