P27 Hybrid future for governance and management of emergency services: issues, challenges and opportunities

Corresponding & Review Group Chair

Prof. Paresh Wankhade, Edge Hill University, UK. Email: Paresh.Wankhade@edgehill.ac.uk 


Prof. Peter Murphy, Nottingham Trent University, UK.

Dr. Geoffrey Heath, Keele University, UK. 

Dr.  Lucia Velotti,  John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA. 


Emergency services, globally, are dealing with complex societal pressures such as an ageing population, or other socioeconomic factors, while coping up with significant reductions in operational budgets and increasing demand for their services. They have not been immune to New Public Management (NPM) reforms. The pursuit of greater efficiency and effectiveness is being sought through better job designs, contracting out of back-room functions, greater inter-agency collaboration, and the introduction of new technologies to meet their emergency preparedness roles. However, such initiatives are also creating new challenges. The growing hybridity of inter-agency work, and the interplay between the professional and managerial aspects of their work has made their analysis more meaningful opportune and urgent.

Understanding and researching emergency services, including hybridisation, makes a significant contribution to the field of public management in several ways. It improves academic and scholarly understanding of important public services which are relatively neglected in management research. It provides insights, knowledge, and evidence-based practices that can guide policymakers and emergency services leaders and managers in designing, implementing, and improving emergency service systems. Researching the growing instances of hybridisation in emergency services may also help to enhance organisational performance, inform policy development, manage complexity, promote inter-agency collaboration, address public and stakeholder expectations and help to build resilient systems. This knowledge can inform decision-making, resource allocation, recruitment practices, and policy development, ultimately leading to more efficient and responsive emergency services for the public and service users. 

Addressing these issues require a joint-up approach involving stakeholders, providers, technology experts, government agencies and academics to successfully navigate the hybridisation of emergency services.

We welcome submissions of a 500-word abstract on the theme of “Hybrid futures for public governance and management" in the context of emergency services in addition to other themes including:

  • Challenges of multi-agency cooperation and interoperability
  • Building theoretical and methodological foundations for research, and professional development
  • System re-design and associated challenges
  • Organisational resilience and service delivery 
  • Designing effective strategies to engage with service users
  • Building community and organisational capacities
  • Organisational culture and culture change
  • Improving wellbeing and resilience of emergency service workers
  • Flexible working and workplaces

This panel follows the successful panels at IRSPM since 2017 on various management aspects of the emergency services. At the 2023 Conference in Budapest, 12 papers were presented at the panel. Prof. Wankhade and Prof. Murphy have vast experiences in running emergency management at the EGPA and Academy of Management (Critical Management Studies) conferences, EURAM (since 2015), BAM (2016, 2019) and PAC (since 2009) conferences since 2009. The panel chairs have published widely on this subject area.  Prof. Wankhade is also the Editor-In-Chief of the International Journal of Emergency Services,  IJES (https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/ijes?id=IJES ), an Emerald publication. Prof. Murphy has also served as the editor to IJES. A special Issue of IJES, guest edited by Profs. Murphy and Velotti, was published in Feb 2020 (9:1) from the papers submitted at the IRSPM 2018 Conference in Edinburgh.

Best Paper Award

Emerald Group Publishing and the International Journal of Emergency Services (IJES) will sponsor the best paper award at the panel. For more information on IJES and submission guidelines, please go to:


Informal inquries about abstracts or the panel can be made to Profs: Paresh Wankhade,  at Paresh.Wankhade@edgehill.ac.uk or Peter Murphy at  peter.murphy@ntu.ac.uk  or Dr Geoffrey Heath at g.heath@keele.ac.uk or Dr Lucia Velotti at lvelotti@jjay.cuny.edu

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