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Strategies of Social Media Use in Disaster Management: Lessons in Resilience from Seoul, South Korea


Strategies of Social Media Use in Disaster Management: Lessons in Resilience from Seoul, South Korea

Abstract: 

The paper aims to understand the effects of social media use on the resilience of organizations involved in emergency response. While social media has been utilized as a critical tool in the field of emergency management, few researchers have systemically examined its effect on organizations’ capacity to bounce back from catastrophic events. From the dimensional approach to social media use, this research focuses on the following three functions: providing information to local communities, transmitting information to local communities, and responding to the emotions of local communities. We used survey data gleaned from 79 key organizations involved in emergency management to investigate the impact of social media use on resilience after a tragic flood in Seoul, South Korea in 2013. We also conducted interviews with ten emergency management officials to understand what administrative challenges they confront in using social media for their tasks. We found that the provision of disaster information on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube has a positive effect on the perceived level of organizational resilience. In addition, social media use correlates positively with community emotional responses. Given the focus on the emergency response to a natural disaster in urban areas, the results might not be generalizable to smaller cities or rural areas. The survey items that measure the perceptions of emergency managers may not represent the physical aspects of disaster recovery, such as the restoration of housing stock. The findings suggest that public and nonprofit organizations can use social media to communicate with other organizations and the public in ways that demonstrate resilience. Emergency managers should address administrative challenges, such as trustworthiness of information delivered via social media and lack of personnel.

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Full Citation: 

Kim, Kyungwoo, Kyujin Jung, and Kenneth Chilton. 2016. "Strategies of Social Media Use in Disaster Management: Lessons in Resilience from Seoul, South Korea." International Journal of Emergency Services 5 (November). http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/IJES-02-2016-0005

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