Document Type


Publication Date



The debate continues as to which governance structure is most appropriate for collaborative disaster response, particularly between centralization and decentralization. This article aims to contribute to this debate by analyzing the structural characteristics of a multisectoral network that emerged and evolved under strong state control during the 2015 outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS) in South Korea. This study particularly focuses on the evolution of intra- and inter-sectoral collaboration ties in the network. The data for the study were collected through a content analysis of government documents and news articles. Using social network analysis, the authors found that the network evolved into a centralized structure around a small number of governmental organizations at the central level, organizing the ties between participating organizations rather hierarchically. The network displayed a preponderance of internal ties both among health and non-health organizations and among public and nonpublic health organizations, but under different influences of structural characteristics. This tendency was intensified during the peak period. Based on these findings, the authors conclude that the centralization of disaster management may not or only marginally be conducive to cross-sector collaboration during public health disasters, calling for a careful design of governance structures for disaster response.





Publication Information

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.