Christian Ehnis

Photo of Christian Ehnis


Rm 4053
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 8627 5208


Christian is a Lecturer in Business Information Systems at the University of Sydney Business School and a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

He is interested in how technology shapes and impacts organisations and society. His research focuses on how emergency management organisations, such as police forces and fire departments, utilise social media in emergency and disaster events to interact with the general public for disaster management.

Christian is a founding member of the Interoperability for Extreme Events Research Group (IEERG) and a member of the Digital Disruption Research Group (DDRG) at the University of Sydney.

Research Interests

Christian’s research interests focus on disaster management and how digital technologies influence and impact organisations or societies. He is particularly interested in the utilisation of social media services during disasters, epidemics, and other forms of extreme events. Besides this, his research focuses on social media, systems adoption and diffusion, collaborative systems, Enterprise Systems and Business Process Management.

Emergency Management Organisations (EMOs) have adopted social media services, such as Facebook and Twitter, as crucial additional communication channels for emergency and disaster management. People share eyewitness accounts, seek and distribute information, or discuss ongoing situations to name just a few examples. It is evident that EMOs are central and trusted participants within dynamic social communication networks during emergencies and disasters. Their communications are valued by both media organisations and the public. Christian researches how EMOs utilise social media during different stages of the disaster management life cycle as a communication channel and a source of valuable information. 

We know that human interactions, activities, attitudes and behaviours are catalysts for disease transmission. Christian currently investigates the impact and influence of social media communication on influenza epidemics. This helps us understand how public health organisations, NGOs and health professionals can use social media technologies to better support the management of epidemic outbreaks.

Christian uses qualitative research approaches such as detailed and contextualised case studies or virtual ethnographic studies, social media analytic approaches such as social network analysis and mixed method approaches in his research.

Selected publications


Journal Article

Ehnis C, and Bunker D (2019) Repertoires of collaboration: incorporation of social media help requests into the common operating picture Behaviour and Information Technology, Published online: 29 May 2019. [More Information]


Journal Article

Stieglitz S, Bunker D, Mirbabaie M, and Ehnis C (2018) Sense-making in social media during extreme events Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 26 (1), 4-15. [More Information]

Conference Proceedings

Bunker D, Ehnis C, Levine L, Babar A, and Sleigh A (2018) When worlds collide: The importance of IS alignment for effective disaster recovery 24th Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS 2018); Association for Information Systems (AIS), online.

Marx J, Mirbabaie M, and Ehnis C (2018) Sense-Giving Strategies of Media Organisations in Social Media Disaster Communication: Findings from Hurricane Harvey 29th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS) 2018; Australasian Conference on Information Systems, Sydney.

Shahbazi M, Ehnis C, Shahbazi M, and Bunker D (2018) Tweeting from the Shadows: Social Media Convergence Behaviour During the 2017 Iran-Iraq Earthquake Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management ISCRAM Asia Pacific, Wellington New Zealand 5-7 November.

Wendland J, Ehnis C, Clarke R, and Bunker D (2018) Sydney Siege, December 2014: A Visualisation of a Semantic Social Media Sentiment Analysis 15th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management ISCRAM, Rochester, NY USA 20-23 May.


Conference Proceeding

Bunker D, Levine L, Ehnis C, Sleigh A, and Babar A (2017) When Worlds Collide: Adoption and Diffusion of Information Systems (Is) for Situational Awareness IFIP 8.6 Working Conference 2017: Re-Imagining Diffusion of Information Technology and Systems: Opportunities and Risks, Guimaraes, Portugal 5 June.


Conference Proceeding

Bunker D, Sleigh A, Levine L, and Ehnis C (2015) Disaster Management: Building Resilient Systems to Aid Recovery Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC Annual Conference 2015; Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Adelaide Australia.


Conference Proceeding

Ehnis C, Mirbabaie M, Bunker D, and Stieglitz S (2014) The Role of Social Media Network Participants in Extreme Events 25th Australasian Conference on Information Systems; AUT University, Auckland.

Book Chapter

Mirbabaie M, Ehnis C, Stieglitz S, and Bunker D (2014) Communication Roles in Public Events - A Case Study on Twitter Communication Information Systems and Global Assemblages: (Re)Configuring Actors, Artefacts, Organizations; Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, 207-218. [More Information]


Conference Proceedings

Bunker D, Ehnis C, Seltsikas P, and Levine L (2013) Crisis Management and Social Media: Assuring Effective Information Governance for Long Term Social Sustainability 2013 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security (HST '13); Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Piscataway, United States. [More Information]

Ehnis C, and Bunker D (2013) The Impact of Disaster Typology on Social Media Use by Emergency Services Agencies: The Case of the Boston Marathon Bombing 24th Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS2013); RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.


Conference Proceeding

Ehnis C, and Bunker D (2012) Social Media in Disaster Response: Queensland Police Service - Public Engagement During the 2011 Floods 23rd Australasian Conference on Information Systems ACIS, Geelong Australia 3-5 December.

Recent Units Taught

  • INFS3040 Enterprise Systems and Integrated Business

  • INFS5000 Accounting Information Systems

  • INFS6012 Enterprise Systems Management