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Variation in exploration and exploitation in group decision making: Evidence from immersive simulations of major incident emergencies

Wilkinson, Byron, Cohen-Hatton, Sabrina R. and Honey, R. C. 2021. Variation in exploration and exploitation in group decision making: Evidence from immersive simulations of major incident emergencies. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 10.1111/1468-5973.12355

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Abstract

Multi‐agency groups are brought together to make strategic decisions in response to major incident emergencies. Here, we investigated decision‐making processes in 18 multi‐agency groups who were video recorded while engaged in simulated major incident emergencies involving a potential need to evacuate individuals from the location of the incident. Three general categories of decision‐making activity were used to code the videos: situation assessment (SA), plan formulation (PF) and plan execution (PE). Analysis of the transitions between these decision‐making activities showed that there were marked between‐group departures from normative models of decision‐making, which predict an orderly transition from SA to PF and then from PF to PE. These departures appeared to reflect between‐group differences in the tendency to explore information (evident in reciprocal transitions between SA and PF) or exploit information (apparent in transitions to and from SA and PF to PE). Moreover, the tendency to explore but not exploit information was associated with the number of transitions to critical decisions (i.e. to evacuate individuals from the location of the incident).

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0966-0879
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 9 January 2021
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2021 15:27
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/137580

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