I articulate and employ a situational boundary-making approach to study the emergence of organization and technology at a shelter during Hurricane Katrina. My analysis of qualitative data shows how emergent organization occurred at the shelter as situational entanglements consisting of three main elements: a salient moment in time, key actors, and boundary-making practices. Key actors' responses to salient moments in time enacted both distinction and dependency between organizational and technological actors, resulting in a divided organization. This analysis extends emergent approaches by showing how organization and technology are situationally organized and emerges through the (in)determinacy of meaning. Implications are also discussed for disaster managers to assess the success and failure of technology during a response. © The Author(s) 2012.
- information and communication technology
- organizational emergence
- disaster response
- organizational practices
- interorganizational communication