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Hurricane Katrina Disaster Response Essay

Bureaucratic/hierarchical model is a kind of organizational management wherein all the members of the organization contribute for the achievement of its purpose which is to give the best possible performance. It has rules and regulation which the members followed. and the personnel took orders from the top.

The advantages of bureaucratic/hierarchical model include the following: its power and technical system is implemented by means of its rules and regulations; these rules are well-defined and managed fairly which are the reasons why members and clients agree and measure up to its authority. It has rights and benefits or privileges which serve as a protection to its members as well as its clients, regardless of their status. Bureaucratic/hierarchical model has the capacity to work efficiently and effortlessly, giving power to the people to operate in a synchronized or harmonized way.

However, bureaucratic/hierarchical model has its disadvantages as well, and these are the following: agreement or conformity is not always appreciated due to the fact that this may hinder or impede the capacity to attend and respond to events that has not been encoded into their system of rules and regulations; it has the tendency to build a conspiracy or plot among its members; also its administrator has the tendency to become more occupied in maintaining the official form that they lose sight of their original main purpose.

Meanwhile, the network model is a kind of organizational management composed of independent people and group that operate in many levels, has links across boundaries, and worked together for a common purpose. It has multiple leaders, and its members meet occasionally. The main purpose of the network model is to provide quality services to its clients through high degrees of informal communications via worldwide web. Because of this purpose, numerous advantages can be derived from networking.

First of all, it provides a faster proliferation of information and other related announcement between those at sharp-end and those who support them. It enables members to render high quality services through the various skills and capacity of their teams wherever and whenever the need arises. Technical wise, network can still operate even in cases of natural disaster thereby lessening disruption as it can adjust accordingly. However, as much as this model has numerous advantages, it also has its disadvantages.

Among them are: the lack of hierarchy does not always ensure quality services; the fact that since the people involved in this model has less chance of meeting, in cases of any trouble or problem, it takes longer for them to coordinate; and although they have high tech equipment plus the capabilities to operate these equipments, it does not guarantee of reliability in instances of electricity crisis and disasters. Wise (2006) proposed implementing an “adaptive management” approach for disasters to solve the solution to the above mentioned management model.

Adaptive management is a kind of management which makes use of the combination of science and management, and its approach is based on the new information they have acquired. Their approach of management starts with having meeting with members and personnel to discuss the problem and discuss their plans. They will then create a group who will monitor and study the facts and figures, as well as inform their leader about the results of their study. This not only helped solve the problems but at the same time provide an opportunity for organizational learning to all the people involved.

The process in adaptive management model includes the following: they first identify the worries and reservations regarding the matter at hand; after which the leader, together with his personnel launched ways or means to test the proposition and suggestion regarding the matter or problem. The last step they take is; after thorough study and consultation with all the personnel concerned, they will then proceed to change their system for a new one which they believe will accommodate for better handling and solving of the matter or problem at hand.

Given the Hurricane Katrina scenario, if the adaptive management approach is applied from day 1 when Hurricane Katrina is still in Category 1, the authorities assigned to the disaster division of the government would have lost no time in conducting an emergency meeting to discuss contingency plan with regards to the approaching typhoon. They would have studied and discussed all the angles and possibilities in case the typhoon gained strength.

After that, the authorities would improvise plans on safety measures for the public, and formed groups who will monitor the status of the typhoon, the course of its travel 24/7, and update the head of the department from time to time. When one levee collapsed, the authorities would have been able to prevent other levees to collapse because the adaptive management model is more suitable to utilize in case of emergencies like what happened at the height of Hurricane Katrina.

As a conclusion, this student recommends the use or application of adaptive management approach for the Hurricane Katrina. For one, this approach is more accurate and reliable since it is more updated due to the continuous training of the manager and personnel of organization with this approach. They possess high technology equipment that proves to be more accurate, and their personnel have the skills and capabilities to handle these equipments that will surely save time in responding to emergencies and disasters.

All these aspects will surely be more proficient in handling emergency situations as they lead to better and fast coordination, that can save life better and faster than when bureaucratic/hierarchical model and network model is employed. Bibliography Brown, T. L. and Potoski, M. (2003). Management capacity in municipal and county governments. Public Administration Review. 63(2). Business system-the bureaucratic model. (2008). Business Open Learning Archive. Retrieved March 18, 2009, from The Business Open Learning Archive database. Wise, C. R. (2002). Organizing for Homeland Security. Public Administration Review 62, 131 – 144.


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