Crisis response team decision-making as a bureau-political process

Jori Pascal Kalkman*, José H. Kerstholt, Maaike Roelofs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Given their different views and interests, how do liaisons in interorganizational crisis response teams negotiate collective decisions? We conducted an experiment with eight crisis response teams to answer this question. Taking a bureau-political view, we find that liaisons make decisions by following one of two decision-making pathways. First, liaisons claim some decisions as subject to their authority and make crisis response decisions independently. Second, when such authority claims are rejected or when no liaison claims decision-making authority, deliberative consensus-seeking takes place. Additionally, we find that crisis response team negotiations are primarily prompted by liaisons’ different views, although clashing organizational interests are nor irrelevant. We conclude that a bureau-political perspective helps to understand how liaisons reach collective crisis response decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-490
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Issue number4
Early online date3 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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