paper 2 - Kimberly Glennon The Evacuation of New Orleans...

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Kimberly Glennon The Evacuation of New Orleans: Organizational Model of Decision Making Mayor Ray Nagin had an important decision to make in August 2005 as Hurricane Katrina made its approach on his city of New Orleans, Louisiana. The question of whether to evacuate its citizens or not was unclear, but with the clock ticking, Nagin needed to pick a course of action and act. Using Graham Allison’s Organizational Behavior Model, Nagin’s path to his ultimate decision to evacuate the city becomes clearer. According to Allison, this model assesses governmental behavior as less of choices of an individual and more as “large organizations functioning according to standard patterns of behavior” (Allison). Action, in this model, is viewed as an output. The organizational model recognizes organizational concepts that identify certain aspects of the model. First, organizational actors are defined as loosely-connected agencies of which the government officials preside over (Allison). In the case of Katrina’s evacuation, the Office of the Mayor is the primary actor as the office that officially declared a mandatory evacuation on August 28 th . The National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center would also be organizational actors in this case because they provided the condition information that led Mayor Nagin and his office to declare such an evacuation. Federal troops, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Army and National Guards were all organizational actors in this scenario too, as they arrived in New Orleans to brace for the storm. Next, factored problems and fractioned powers are looked at, dividing issues up among various offices to allow for specialized consideration of how best to deal. In the case of Katrina, the mayor’s office was making the majority of the decisions, however, FEMA, which is the
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2012 for the course POL 362 taught by Professor Markmorris during the Fall '10 term at Miami University.

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paper 2 - Kimberly Glennon The Evacuation of New Orleans...

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