Date of Conferral







Raghu Korrapati


After nearly 2 decades of advances in information and communications technologies (ICT) including social media, mobile, analytics, and cloud computing, disaster response agencies in the United States have not been able to improve alignment between ICT-based information and disaster response actions. This grounded theory study explored emergency response ICT managers' understanding of how social media, mobile, analytics, and cloud computing technologies (SMAC) are related to and can inform disaster response strategies. Sociotechnical theory served as the conceptual framework to ground the study. Data were collected from document reviews and semistructured interviews with 9 ICT managers from emergency management agencies in the state of Hawaii who had experience in responding to major disasters. The data were analyzed using open, axial coding, and selective coding. Three elements of a theory emerged from the findings: (a) the ICT managers were hesitant about SMAC technologies replacing first responder's radios to interoperate between emergency response agencies during major disasters, (b) the ICT managers were receptive to converging conventional ICT with SMAC technologies, and (c) the ICT managers were receptive to joining legacy information sharing strategies with new information sharing strategies based on SMAC technologies. The emergent theory offers a framework for aligning SMAC technologies and disaster response strategies. The implications for positive social change include reduced interoperability failures between disaster agencies during major catastrophes, which may lower the risk of casualties and deaths to emergency responders and disaster victims, thus benefiting them and their communities.