Information sharing in complex systems: a case study on public safety management

Barbara Kożuch, Katarzyna Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek


Purpose. The main purpose of the paper is to understand characteristics of  the information sharing process in complex systems on the base of public safety management and also identify the role of emergency call centres in this area.

Methodology. The purpose of the publication has been achieved on the basis of research carried out under the research project titled "Coordination, communication and trust as a factors driving effective inter-organizational collaboration in the system of public safety management". This project was financed by the National Science Centre based on decision no. DEC-2012/07/D/HS4/00537. To achieve the purpose of the article, the desk research method and empirical investigations were carried out. Desk research was based on the analysis of international scientific literature and on analysis of internal documents, ordinances and regulations of police, fire brigade and medical rescue services in Poland. Furthermore, 54 semi-structured interviews were conducted with employees in selected emergency call centres across Poland.

Results. As a result of research and analysis, the process of information sharing in complex systems was characterised and on the base of public safety management, this process was exemplified. Furthermore, the significance of emergency call centres in this area was identified.

The theoretical contribution. Complex systems theory is characteristic of contemporary organisations and the modern world. It constitutes that all components of the system are interrelate and interact with each other[1]. Moreover that these systems interrelate with other systems and with their surroundings[2]. Therefore they need proper communication and information sharing to support relations within systems, between systems and between systems and their environment.

From the perspective of complex system theory, the public safety management system constitutes a complex structure of units, subgroups and modules, configured differently for each situation dependant on needs. In this area, communication is a priority in modelling organisational behaviours and coordinating actions[3]. Therefore it is an appropriate research area in the field of information sharing and complex systems.

Realised analysis makes a contribution to the development of research on more effective and more flexible management in complex systems and situations. For this reason they fit to sub-theme "Management intelligence for smart, sustainable and inclusive economy".

Practical implications. The framework of analysis presented in the article should be useful for managers of public safety as well as for all managers dealing with complex systems.

Keywords: information sharing, complex system, complexity theory, public safety management, emergency call centre.

Paper type: Research paper.

[1] Jiang, H. and Zhang, Q.-P. (2014), Development and Validation of Team Creativity Measures: A Complex Systems Perspective. Creativity and Innovation Management, 23: 264–275.

[2] Chiva, R., Ghauri, P. and Alegre, J. (2014), Organizational Learning, Innovation and Internationalization: A Complex System Model. British Journal of Management, 25: 687–705.

[3] Kożuch B., Sienkiewicz-Małyjurek K., Kożuch A.J.: Effective Organisational Communication in Local Emergency Networks, Wulfenia, vol. 21, No. 7, 2014, s. 193-219.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

KTU_school_economics and business Riga Technical University
Brno University of Technology Tallinn University of Technology