Coordination of an emergent multiorganizational network responding to the arrival of Katrina evacuees in Colorado Springs

Material Information

Coordination of an emergent multiorganizational network responding to the arrival of Katrina evacuees in Colorado Springs
Rikoski, Giannina P
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xviii, 341 leaves : ; 28 cm


Subjects / Keywords:
2005 ( fast )
Incident command systems -- United States ( lcsh )
Emergency management -- United States ( lcsh )
Hurricane Katrina, 2005 -- Social aspects ( lcsh )
Social networks -- United States ( lcsh )
Interagency coordination -- United States ( lcsh )
Emergency management ( fast )
Incident command systems ( fast )
Interagency coordination ( fast )
Social aspects ( fast )
Social networks ( fast )
United States ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 315-341).
General Note:
School of Public Affairs
Statement of Responsibility:
by Giannina Petrullo Rikoski.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
259110931 ( OCLC )
LD1193.P86 2008d R54 ( lcc )

Full Text
Giannina Petrullo Rikoski
B.A., Beloit College, 1969
M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1970
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Public Affairs

2008 by Giannina Petrullo Rikoski
All rights reserved.

This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Giannina Petrullo Rikoski
has been approved
Peter deLeon
Linda deLeon
David A. McEntire
Mark D. Riddle

Rikoski, Giannina P. (Ph.D., Public Affairs)
Coordination of an Emergency Multiorganizational Network Responding to the
Arrival of Katrina Evacuees in Colorado Springs
Thesis directed by Professor Peter deLeon
Government lacks the capacity to manage the consequences of disasters
alone. Effective response and recovery require the involvement of networks that
often are comprised of public, non-profit, and private organizations. This
dissertation uses a collaborative governance framework focusing on the interaction
of structure and process to pursue the question of how to organize and govern
response to disasters.
Collaboration has been viewed as a key process in the governance of
networks, while the hierarchically structured Incident Command System (ICS) has
been widely adopted as the standard organizational form for managing disaster
response. A single case is used to examine collaboration and authority in an
emergent multi-organizational network managed with ICS. Specifically, the
dissertation investigates whether collaboration can occur across as well as within
levels of the hierarchical command structure and whether the authority structure may
foster collaboration and the creation of social capital in the network. Social network
analysis is employed to identify pre-existing ties among organizations and patterns of

interaction among organizational units in the ICS structure, including the exercise of
formal authority and participation in joint decision making.
The social network analysis shows that reciprocal direction giving and joint
decision making occurred across levels and branches of the structure. This indicates
that both developing and active collaboration were present and suggests that other
forms of authority besides formal hierarchical authority were operative. The analysis
also shows that units with formal authority engaged in joint decision making with
multiple partners who also made decisions with each other. Interview and
observational data suggest that units with authority encouraged collaboration and
facilitated the development of collaborative relationships among other units.
This dissertation concludes that collaboration and hierarchy are not
necessarily incompatible and that ICS may be a workable system for disaster
response when multiorganizational collaboration is required. However, flexibility in
implementation and skill in collaborative processes are essential.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Peter deLeon

I wish to express my deep appreciation to Peter deLeon, the chair of my
committee, for his patience and endurance through the many years that it took me to
get to this point. His insistence that I stay grounded in the literature and his sharp
attention to detail taught me a great deal. I also wish to thank him and Linda deLeon
for encouraging me to seize the moment presented by the establishment of the Pikes
Peak Disaster Recovery Center and conduct research on its coordination and
governance. I am grateful to Peter deLeon, Linda deLeon, and James Null for
agreeing to serve on my committee when I was pursuing a different topic and
remaining with me when I made the change. I appreciate the practical assistance that
Mark Riddle provided with social network analysis and UCINET software. The
comments on the penultimate draft provided by David McEntire and Linda deLeon
led to important improvements in the dissertation. I could not have had a better
While working on this dissertation I also had a full-time job. I am grateful to
Chief Manuel Navarro of the Colorado Springs Fire Department for his enthusiastic
support and for his tolerance of the extended vacations I took to complete this work.
During those absences, Elizabeth Freitag kept the Finance Section of the Colorado
Springs Fire Department running smoothly, for which Chief Navarro and I are both
grateful. However, I now know that I am not indispensable.

Completing this dissertation would not have been possible without the
support of my husband David Kuamoo who assumed many tasks on the home front.
I especially appreciate his attention to geriatric pet care while I was occupied with
My first course of graduate study occurred early in my life, before I had
children. In the time it took me to complete this second course of graduate study, my
son Rick and my daughter Jenny graduated from college and completed two
advanced degrees each. I continue to draw inspiration from their success.
Finally, I owe thanks to William H. Wallace for challenging my ideas with
his precise mathematical mind and to Eileen Kelley for freeing me to focus on
substance by dealing with formatting issues and making word processing software do
what I could not get it to do.

1. INTRODUCTION..................................................1
Hurricane Katrina and the Flooding of New Orleans.........1
Risk and Expectations.....................................6
Emergency Management......................................8
Overview of the Dissertation.............................13
2. LITERATURE REVIEW............................................15
Network Organizations....................................16
Networks and Collaboration.............................20
Network Governance and Management......................26
Summary of Key Points..................................34
Social Capital...........................................35
Definitions and Basic Concepts.........................35
Indicators of Social Capital...........................46

Summary of Key Points...................................47
Disaster Theory and Research.............................47
Social Construction of Disasters........................50
Impact of Disasters on Minority Populations.............52
Response to Disasters...................................54
Summary of Key Points...................................86
Social Network Analysis..................................88
Applications of Social Network Analysis to Organizations.90
Assistance under the Stafford Act.......................101
The Response of Selected Host Communities...............103
Baton Rouge............................................104
San Antonio............................................117

Examples of State-Level Efforts..........................120
Discussion of the Response of Receiving Communities........121
Return to New Orleans......................................125
Research Goals.............................................127
Conceptual Framework.......................................128
Research Design............................................133
Description of the Case..................................137
Data Collection..........................................140
Analytical Methods.......................................148
Reliability and Validity Issues............................163
5. THE PIKES PEAK DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER.......................166
Events Leading to the Opening of the PPDRC.................170
Operations at the PPDRC....................................177
Roles and Responsibilities of Participating Organizations.177
Services Delivered, Effort Expended, and Costs...........184

Follow-Up on the Evacuees................................186
Organizational Structure of the PPDRC....................188
Operational Details......................................194
Demobilization and Transition..............................207
6. FINDINGS FROM THE NETWORK ANALYSIS.............................209
Period I: The Year Prior to Katrina........................209
Period II: Between Hurricane Katrina and the Opening of the
Period HI: The PPDRC in Operation..........................214
Contact and Meetings, Information Exchange, and Resource
Command and Collaboration................................225
7. DISCUSSION.....................................................245
Origin of the PPDRC........................................245
ICS at the PPDRC...........................................247
Collaboration and Social Capital...........................258
Assessing Support for the Propositions.....................265
Applications of the Findings to other Issues in Network Research
and Emergency Management...................................268
The Role of Leadership...................................268
Appropriateness of ICS...................................266
Planning and Improvisation...............................269

Limitations of the Research
8. CONCLUSION.......................................278
Collaborative Governance in Disaster Response.278
Implication for Policy and Practice...........280
Directions for Future Research................282
A. INTERVIEW PROTOCOL I.............................289
B. INTERVIEW PROTOCOL II............................296
C. INTERVIEW PROTOCOL III...........................299
D. CONSENT FORM.....................................306
F. EVACUEE SOLICITATIONS........................... 309
GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL TERMS.............................311
REFERENCES .............................................310

2.1 Basic Structural Elements of ICS.....................................67
4.1 Governance of Disaster Response.....................................129
5.1 PPDRC Organizational Chart..........................................190
6.1 Period I: Strong Ties Prior to Katrina Reported by Twelve
6.2 Period I: Weak Ties Prior to Katrina Reported by Twelve
6.3 Period II: Contacts among Organizations on the PPDRC Roster
Reported by Thirteen Organizations...................................214
6.4 Formal Organization of the Study Network............................216
6.5 Contact among Organizations at the PPDRC............................220
6.6 Frequent Meetings among Organizational Units........................221
6.7 Resource Exchange among PPDRC Organizational Units..................226
6.8 Confirmed Giving Direction to Others................................229
6.9 Decision Model for a Relaxed Hierarchical Structure.................234
6.10 Confirmed Joint Decision Making.....................................235
6.11 Daily Joint Decision Making.........................................239
6.12 Egonet of Operations Command........................................241
6.13 Joint Decision Making with Organizations on Roster..................243

4.1 Raw data...............................................................156
4.2 Reconstructed data.....................................................156
6.1 Legend for the study network diagram...................................217
6.2 Average density of contact within and between hierarchical levels......218
6.3 Information exchange: Freeman degree centrality from valued data.......223
6.4 Resource exchange: Freeman degree centrality from valued data..........225
6.5 Confirmed direction to others: Freeman degree centrality
from valued data.......................................................230

Standing by the racks of brochures in a local office of emergency
management in Colorado some years ago, I was amused to see brochures on how to
prepare for a hurricane. I remember thinking to myself, Colorado has severe
weather, but it does not have hurricanes. I was to find out, however, that a
hurricane does not have to hit Colorado for its effects to be felt there.
Within a day or two of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of
New Orleans in 2005, evacuees from the affected areas began to arrive in Colorado
Springs. As more arrived over the next week and an emergent group tried to
coordinate assistance to them, officials of local government agencies and non-profit
organizations realized that a coordinated effort was needed. Before two weeks had
passed, the City of Colorado Springs and the local Red Cross chapter had opened an
interagency center with assistance from other governmental entities, non-profit
organizations, and volunteers. The Pikes Peak Disaster Recovery Center (PPDRC),
as it came to be called, remained open for six weeks and served over 1,500
evacueesapproximately thirty-two percent of all evacuees who went to Colorado.
Over the six-week period of operation, twelve City departments or offices, six
agencies from El Paso County or other local government entities, three federal
agencies, twenty-four non-profit or faith-based organizations, five private

organizations, and an emergent group were actively involved at the PPDRC, with
many others providing support.
The organizations at the PPDRC provided initial medical screening and
referral to health care providers, coordinated emergency housing and transportation,
assisted with applications for benefits and assistance, moved evacuees into
temporary housing, provided assistance with employment searches and school
enrollment, and facilitated access to a variety of other services.
When the PPDRC opened, the lack of a formal structure led the chief of the
Colorado Springs Fire Department (who had been put in charge of the effort by the
city council) to implement the Incident Command System (ICS). As head of finance
for the Colorado Springs Fire Department, I was activated to share the position of
Finance Section Chief in the ICS with City of Colorado Springs Director of Finance
Terri Velasquez. I served in that capacity for the duration of the PPDRCs
operations. During the first week, I also took on the responsibility for producing the
after-action report. The second assignment cast me in the role of observer and
gatherer of information. Unlike the more common practice of participant
observation in which the researcher becomes a participant, I was a participant who
became a researcher. That brings with it certain biases.
As a civilian member of the Colorado Springs Fire Department since 1992,1
am familiar with ICS and understand how effective it can be for coordinating tactical
emergency operations and providing accountability. However, my personal

preferences are for collaborative relationships rather than formal hierarchical ones
and for collaborative decision-making rather than giving or receiving orders. Thus, I
am neither an uncritical supporter of ICS as a framework for coordination nor a
committed critic.
I am, first, aware of the need for multiorganizational response to large scale
emergencies and the complexity of coordinating that response. Because even routine
emergencies may strain the resources of emergency response agencies, mutual-aid
agreements are common among fire departments to provide individual departments
with access to additional resources. In addition, established community
organizations may provide support. For example, when fires occur at dwellings, the
Red Cross often provides hotel rooms for people whose living quarters have been
damaged or destroyed. At larger emergencies, the Salvation Army may provide
meals for responders and victims, and the Red Cross may open shelters for
individuals and families who have been displaced. As incidents increase in size and
complexity, so does the need for additional organizations to become involved.
Second, I am aware from the academic literature and my own observations
that collaboration is important in multiorganizational response. Without
multiorganizational, multisectoral collaboration, it would not be possible to mobilize
the diverse resources needed for effective response. But regardless of sector,
organizations that participate voluntarily work under the constraints of their own
capabilities, policies, and procedures, although some have more flexibility than

others. Participating organizations frequently expect to have a say in what they do
and how they do it.
The failure to respond effectively following Hurricane Katrina and the
apparent contradiction between the need for collaboration and the need for structure
and authority emphasize the need to improve our understanding of how to organize
and govern response to large-scale emergencies and disasters. Undertaking this
dissertation gave me an opportunity to explore that issue through a case study of the
The dissertation has not been sponsored by the Colorado Springs Fire
Department, the City of Colorado Springs, the Colorado Springs City Council, or any
individual or group of individuals connected to the PPDRC. I bear sole
responsibility for the conduct of the research and the interpretation of the data.

Hurricane Katrina and the Flooding of New Orleans
Early on August, 26, 2005, Hurricane Katrina crossed the southern tip of the
Florida peninsula and gathered strength as it moved west across the Gulf of Mexico.
Later the same day, in response to forecasts that the hurricane would make landfall
along the Louisiana and Mississippi coast, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco and
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour issued emergency declarations for their states.
Residents in vulnerable areas were urged to evacuate.
It is estimated that over a million people evacuated coastal areas, including
450,000 people from the immediate New Orleans area. However, the evacuation
was not complete. Some residents did not hear, or did not heed, the warnings
(Brinkley 2006; U. S. House 2006). Some suffered from disabilities that made it
difficult for them to leave, while others stayed behind to care for ill or disabled
family members. Although the emergency operations plan for New Orleans
acknowledged that approximately 100,000 residents would not be able to leave the
area on their own (Brinkley 2006), no systematic effort was made to evacuate them.
It is estimated that 70,000 people remained in New Orleans when the hurricane came
ashore on August 29 (U. S. House 2006). The strongest part of the storm missed

New Orleans but devastated communities to the east along the Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama coasts, destroying some completely. For New Orleans, the
worst was yet to come. The storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico and Lake
Ponchartrain pushed water into the canals and against the levees that protected areas
below sea level in the city of New Orleans and adjacent parishes. Breaches occurred
in the levees, and water poured into low-lying areas, flooding 80% of the city and
rising as high as twenty feet in some places (U. S. House 2006).
In the lowest areas, such as New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward, residents
drowned in the rising water. Others made it to the safety of high spots such as
highway overpasses, either on their own or with the assistance of rescuers, but
suffered for days without adequate water, food, shelter, or medical care. The New
Orleans Superdome became a refuge of last resort for thousands, but the conditions
were terrible due to overcrowding, inadequate supplies of drinking water, food, and
medical supplies, intense heat, and failed plumbing. Similar or worse conditions
prevailed at the Convention Center where thousands more gathered to wait for help.
Days passed before the water receded and efforts to move survivors out of the
damaged areas were undertaken in earnest. (Major parts of the New Orleans area
were flooded for three weeks.) When evacuations of the remaining population
began, survivors were bused to Houston, San Antonio, Baton Rouge, and other
communities in the Gulf states, where their immediate needs were addressed by
government and non-profit organizations.

Although the situations of those who survived the hurricane, the storm surge,
and the flooding in the affected communities received the most attention, hundreds
of thousands of Gulf Coast residents who evacuated before Katrina were unable to
return home. Their homes and, in some cases, their livelihoods had been destroyed.
They were scattered in hotels, motels, shelters, and private homes, first across the
southeast, but, in short time, across all fifty states (New York Times 2005). They
were soon joined by survivors evacuated from the Superdome, the Convention
Center, and other places of refuge in the Greater New Orleans area, as well as
survivors from other communities along the Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama
In many host communities, non-profit organizations worked together with
governmental agencies to provide services to the evacuees and help them to settle
temporarily in those communities. For many evacuees, short-term stays became
long-term stays. It is estimated that, as of November 2007, the Greater New Orleans
area had only 86% of households it had prior to Hurricane Katrina (Brookings
Institution Metropolitan Policy Program and the Greater New Orleans Community
Data Center 2007). Demographic data suggest that not all the current population is
composed of returning residents. Rather, some of the households counted are those
of construction workers and their families who are new to the area (Brookings
Institution 2007).

Statistics on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New
Orleans have changed over time as more complete information has become
available. But, while all figures are estimates, it is safe to say that $96 billion in
damage occurred over an area of 93,000 square miles (White House 2006); as many
as 2 million people required aid, many of whom were temporarily or permanently
displaced (New York Times 2005; OKeefe 2007); and at least 1,836 deaths occurred
that were directly attributable to the storm and flooding (OKeefe 2007).
In the first year following Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) provided more than $6 billion in direct assistance to 950,000
applicants through the Individuals and Households Assistance Program (FEMA
2006b). This does not include such expenditures as $650 million spent on hotel and
motel rooms in the weeks after the disaster, $1.75 billion obligated to Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama for emergency sheltering, $735 million in reimbursements
paid to 45 non-affected states and the District of Columbia for sheltering and
emergency protective measures, or $4.8 billion earmarked for public infrastructure
projects in the affected states.
The American Red Cross estimates that its response to Hurricanes Katrina,
Rita, and Wilma in 2005 cost $2,116 billion (American Red Cross 2006a) and
involved over 225,000 staff" and volunteers (American Red Cross 2006b). It
provided 3.8 million overnight stays in more than 1,400 shelters in 27 states and the
District of Columbia (nearly 450,000 evacuees), served over 38 million hot meals in

conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention, and provided emergency
assistance to 1.4 million families (American Red Cross 2007).
The Salvation Army estimates that it expended more than $84 million in the
three months immediately following Katrina (Salvation Army 2007). In the fall of
2005, its disaster workers logged more than 830,000 hours of service on the Gulf
Coast providing assistance to 1.7 million people. It served 5.7 million hot meals and
8.3 million sandwiches, snacks, and drinks from 178 canteens and eleven field
kitchens in the affected areas. As of August 2007, it had spent over $239 million on
response and recovery efforts.
These examples make up only a small part of the overall effort. Even in
Colorado Springs, a mid-sized city more than 1,200 miles from New Orleans,
government personnel, officials of non-profit organizations, and volunteers put in
close to 15,000 hours over a six-week period at a multiorganizational center assisting
Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans will affect the Gulf States
and the remainder of the United States for many years. The poor planning and
response of government at the local, state, and federal levels has been implicated in
the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people and may have contributed directly
to the deaths of some (Brinkley 2006; U. S. House 2006; U. S. Senate 2006). But
there were successes as well. The National Weather Service and the U. S. Coast
Guard stand out as agencies that performed their functions admirably. Non-profit

organizations played major roles in caring for evacuees and helping them to resettle,
and many individual citizens contributed money and/or volunteer time to assist in
both initial response and long-term recovery efforts. Nevertheless, the failure to
respond effectively to Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans provided a
tragic demonstration of the inadequacy of the approach used in the United States to
managing the risk and consequences of disasters.
Risk and Expectations
Disasters are familiar phenomena both from the historical record and from
contemporary events. While disasters of the past may seem to have been rare
occurrences, recent events such as the terrorist acts of 9-11, mudslides in South
America, the 2004 tsunami in the India Ocean, earthquakes around the Pacific Rim,
and a succession of hurricanes, tornados, floods, and wildfires in the United States
have kept disasters in the public consciousness. The extensive media coverage of
these events has raised awareness of both the risk of disasters and the difficulty of
responding to them effectively.
The risk of disasters can be understood as a combination of the probability of
occurrence and the potential severity of the effects. The probability of large-scale
natural events has increased due to climate change and other ecological factors
(Comfort 2005; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001). At the same time, the addition of
technological failure and both accidental and deliberate human actions as possible
causes has added to the overall probability of disasters (Comfort 2005; Fischer 1998;

McEntire 2005). The potential severity of impact of both natural and human-caused
disasters has increased as engineering and development have altered the natural
environment and as population density and economic assets in vulnerable areas have
grown (Comfort 2005; Oliver-Smith 2005). Thus, both aspects of risk have been
At the same time that risk has been increasing, citizens expectations of
governmental action that contains human suffering and economic losses have been
growing also. Protecting citizens from harm is a quintessential role of government
(Comfort 2005, 336, emphasis added) and disaster management is the quintessential
function of government (Comfort 2002, 32, emphasis added). Ironically,
government cannot manage disasters effectively without significant participation
from the private and non-profit sectors, so disaster management necessarily involves
multiorganizational, multisectoral coordination (Comfort 2002, 2005; Weber,
McEntire, and Robinson 2002; Waugh and Streib 2006; Zakour 1996). Before
Hurricane Katrina, Comfort (2002) noted that the failure to manage disasters
effectively can have political as well as humanitarian and economic consequences.
Katrina demonstrated the consequences of ineffective disaster management. But
how to mobilize effective response to large-scale emergencies remains, as Comfort
stated in 2002, one of the least understood problems in public management (31).
As the risk of disasters and the expectations for governments response have
grown, the management of disasters has become an important topic in public affairs

as well as in government circles. After being largely ignored for many decades
(Petak 1985), emergency management has been the most recent addition to the
public affairs curricula in many schools. The 9-11 disaster in 2001 resulted in the
creation of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the development
of the National Response Plan (NPR) (U. S. Department of Homeland Security
2004b) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) (U. S. Department of
Homeland Security 2004a). The absorption of the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) into DHS, the attention and resources focused by DHS on
terrorism, and the return under President George W. Bush to political rather than
professional appointments to FEMA are thought to be significant factors in the poor
response to Katrina by the federal government (Birkland 2006; Cooper and Block
2006; Kettl 2003). The failure to prepare for or respond effectively to Hurricane
Katrina in 2005 made it clear that much improvement is needed in emergency
management, both at each level of government and in the cooperation among the
different levels.
Emergency Management
Government does not have the capacity to plan for disasters or manage their
consequences alone (Comfort 2005; Weber, McEntire, and Robinson 2002).
Mitigation, planning, and consequence management (which includes both response
and recovery) typically involve public, non-profit, and private organizations. For
example, under the National Response Plan established in 2004, the American Red

Crosschartered by Congress in 1905 to provide disaster relief supportwas the
primary agency responsible for mass care, housing, and human services (U. S.
Department of Homeland Security 2004b). (In the National Response Framework
that replaced the National Response Plan in March 2008, FEMA became the lead
agency for mass care [U. S. Department of Homeland Security 2008] .) Many other
non-governmental organizations are active in response and recovery efforts
following disasters, but typically they are not included in formal plans.
Coordinating the activities of these independent organizations requires different
strategies from directing a few specific government agencies. Thus,
interorganizational relationships have been termed the core of emergency
management (Drabek 2002). While some relationships may exist prior to disasters,
such as those between government agencies and the Red Cross, it is not unusual for
organizations that have not worked together before to become part of the network
responding to a disaster.
Even when disasters affect wide areas, as was the case with Hurricane
Katrina, disasters are local events for the people and communities that experience
them. Local government is expected to respond first. Under the American system of
federalism, when the situation is larger or more complex than can be handled by
local resources, local government requests aid from state government, which may
request assistance from the federal government if conditions warrant. Funds to
supplement local resources flow in reverse, from the federal government to state

government to local government. But this system does not anticipate that local
government will be rendered incapable of response, or that action will be needed
long before the bureaucratic requirements of federal programs can be met.
Moreover, as was evident from many news broadcasts in the immediate
aftermath of the hurricane, much of the public expects an active federal response, not
just supplemental funding. That expectation may conflict with the desire on the part
of state and local governments to retain control over the response in their
jurisdictions. Furthermore, it is not clear that a centralized response could
effectively integrate the many entities that have the capacity to act at the local and
regional levels.
Following the terrorist attacks of 9-11, efforts were launched to integrate
homeland-security into a single system incorporating federal, state, and local
government, but the federal government has limited control of state and local policy
(Kettl 2004). Thus, it has used the familiar approach of tying federal funding to
compliance with mandates. In 2003, the National Incident Management System
(NIMS) was established by Presidential directive as the body of organizational
processes and procedures for managing large-scale emergencies of all kinds at the
local, state, and national level. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 stated:
Beginning in Fiscal Year 2005, Federal departments and agencies
shall make adoption of the NIMS a requirement, to the extent
permitted by law, for providing Federal preparedness assistance
through grants, contracts, or other activities (President 2003, Sec. 20).

State and local governments have rushed to get personnel trained and plans
developed to meet the requirements of NIMS compliance, lest they jeopardize their
funding for homeland security or emergency management.
The report on Katrina by a select bipartisan committee of the U. S. House (U.
S. House 2006) concludes that it was the failure of command and control that
resulted in delays and duplicative efforts for post-landfall evacuation, uncoordinated
search and rescue efforts, and diversion of supplies. The report implies that more or
stricter command and control would have been more effective. At the same time, the
report makes positive comments about the coordination among charitable
organizations, which was not carried out through a centralized control system, but
simply through frequent communication. The report also notes that one of the more
effective components of the response to Hurricane Katrina was the use of EM AC,
the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which is a system of mutual aid
among states. Administered by the National Emergency Management Association
and ratified by Congress, EMAC provides a structure through which states can
request resources from other states to assist in emergencies. More formalized than
the coordination among the charitable organizations, the deployment of resources in
response to a request through EMAC is, nevertheless, on a voluntary basis.
Disaster response occurs in environments that are unstable. Contingency
theory suggests that, in turbulent and unpredictable environments, the most effective
forms of organizations are those that are flexible and adaptable, less authoritarian

than traditional bureaucracies, with complex roles, and a relatively high amount of
discretion in those roles (Morgan 1997). Disaster scholars argue for an emphasis on
promoting interorganizational coordination and common decision making in disaster
response rather than on establishing authority relationships (Buck, Trainor, and
Aquirre 2006; Dynes 1994; Harrald 2006; Waugh and Streib 2006). Yet, in spite of
the use of networks in many aspects of governance and their prevalence in disaster
response, the tradition in professional emergency management has been to embrace
command-and-control models. This not only reflects emergency managements
roots in civil defense of the post-World War II era, but the hierarchical tradition in
public administration generally (Kettl 2006).
In the urgent atmosphere of disaster response, the need for leadership is
acute, but so is the need for cooperative efforts among networks of local, state, and
federal agencies, non-profits, private business and professional entities, sometimes
groups that did not exist prior to the disaster, and even unaffiliated volunteers. It is
clear that effective disaster response requires collaboration that integrates many
entities inside and outside the trained responder community. But it is not clear what
organizational structures best promote effective collaboration in disaster scenarios.
This dissertation poses the question raised by many: how should response to
disasters be organized and governed? This question has several components,
including who should be involved in disaster response, what should be the
responsibilities of different levels of government, and what organizational structures

and management strategies should be used. While this dissertation cannot provide
certain or comprehensive answers, it contributes to our understanding of the
coordination of effective response to disasters by investigating an emergent
multiorganizational network mobilized in a mid-sized city to respond to the needs of
evacuees following Hurricane Katrina. It analyzes relationships and patterns of
interaction within a multiorganizational network that employed a formal
organizational structure prescribed by NIMS, focusing on the use of authority and
collaboration. Specifically, it analyzes the relationships that existed among
organizations prior to Hurricane Katrina, the patterns of exchange that developed
within the emergent network, and the patterns of decision making.
Overview of the Dissertation
Chapter 2 reviews pertinent literature on network organizations and
collaboration, social capital, and disaster theory and research. It also introduces
social network analysis. Chapter 3 describes the scope of the population dispersion
after Hurricane Katrina and examines the responses of several communities that
received large numbers of evacuees. Chapter 4 presents the conceptual framework
and research design and states the propositions to be tested. It describes the methods
used for data collection and analysis and discusses in detail the application of social
network analysis in this research. Chapter 5 provides a narrative description of the
case that is the subject of this dissertation: the Pikes Peak Disaster Recovery Center
(PPDRC) in Colorado Springs. Chapter 6 presents the results of the social network

analysis of interorganizational relations at the PPDRC. Chapter 7 discusses the
results of the social network analysis and the observations of the key informants
from the PPDRC in relation to the implementation of the command system and
theory on collaboration and social capital. Chapter 7 also revisits the propositions
posed in chapter 4 and discusses the limitations of the research. Finally, chapter 8
summarizes the contributions of the dissertation, notes the implications for policy
and practice, and suggests directions for fixture research.

In recent decades, scholars have begun to distinguish between the concepts of
government and governance. While government is understood as the institutional
apparatus of the state, governance is a system of governing that encompasses
multiorganizational networks engaged in public activities (Frederickson 1997; Hajer
and Wagenaar 2003). Governance involves creating the conditions for ordered rule
and collective action through mechanisms that are not under the direct control of
government (Milward and Provan 2000, 360). Due to the complexity of many
problems, few organizations have the power or resources to accomplish their
missions alone (Goldsmith and Eggers 2004; Innes and Booher 2003; Milward and
Provan 2000). Increasingly, the art of governance is carried out through sets of
interacting networks that may involve private and non-profit entities as well as
government agencies (Agranofif and McGuire 2001; Comfort 2005; Goldsmith and
Eggers 2004; Keast et al. 2004; Milward and Provan 2000). These networks are
more fluid than their institutional predecessors and perhaps less stable (Hajer and
Wagenaar 2003).

With more services and activities provided through contracts and partnerships
and fewer provided directly by government, public administration has become
concerned less with managing bureaucracies and more with managing networks.
Thus, network management has become a core function of governance (Agranoff
and McGuire 2001). One area in which network management is a critical
governmental function is in emergency management, because it requires the
participation of many governmental, non-profit, and private organizations.
This chapter provides a review of literature pertinent to this dissertation. It
begins with a section on network organizations and then provides a short overview
of literature on social capital. The majority of the chapter is devoted to disaster
theory and research, especially the coordination of response to disasters. A section
on social network analysis introduces key concepts and provides examples of its
application to research on network organizations and the coordination of disaster
Network Organizations
Organizations are a form of social group or collectivity created to pursue
specific goals (Scott 1998; Rosenbloom 1998). One way that they may be
distinguished from other collectivities is that they devote resources to maintaining
the organization as well as to attaining specified goals (Scott 1998). The
establishment and maintenance of boundaries are part of overall organizational

maintenance. Moreover, Kaufman (1991) asserts that the start and end of boundary
maintenance mark the beginning and end of an organizations life cycle.
Organizations can be viewed from a variety of theoretical frameworks
(Morgan 1997; Scott 1998). For example, Scott describes three different views of
organizationsas rational systems, as natural systems, and as open systems. The
rational systems perspective focuses on normative structure and emphasizes control
as a means to coordinate behavior to achieve specified goals. In contrast, adherents
of the natural systems perspective focus more on behavioral structure and emphasize
organizations as social groups that attempt to adapt and survive in a particular
environment. The open systems perspective focuses even more attention on the
external environment and views complex systems as containing nested elements of
suprasystems and subsystems that may be only loosely coupled and are capable of
autonomous action. Because of their adaptability, loosely coupled organizations
may be more efficient in certain situations than more tightly structured organizations
(Iannello 1992; Morgan 1997; Scott 1998).
Other views of organizations include organizations as machines, as brains, as
cultures, and as political systems (Morgan 1997). A network perspective may focus
on relations within an organization, such as informal ties, resource exchange, and
knowledge sharing, (Kilduff and Tsai 2003), or it may focus on the
interorganizational environment (Rosenbloom 1998; Kilduff and Tsai 2003).
Different perspectives can produce different analyses and highlight different

characteristics of the same organization. Dominance of a particular perspective on
organizations can lead to different organizational designs and management practices.
Traditional governmental organizations developed from a rational systems
perspective. They are formally structured as Weberian bureaucratic organizations
with clear divisions of labor, responsibility, and power. They are ordered
hierarchically with authority adhering to an office or position rather than to an
individual, and they operate according to formal, documented rules (Bennis 1997;
Gerth and Mills 1970; Merton 1968; Morgan 1997; Rosenbloom 1998).
Modem bureaucracies originally grew out of the management needs of the
Industrial Revolution. Their development was influenced by a mechanistic approach
to management that was fostered by the scientific management movement in the first
part of the twentieth century (Gerth and Mills 1970; Rosenbloom 1998). The
development of government bureaucracies was also influenced by the advent of the
civil service in the post-Civil War era. Both scientific management and the
structures and practices of the civil service put an emphasis on performance and
efficiency (Bennis 1997; Rosenbloom 1998). Weber claimed that bureaucratization
offers above all the optimum possibility for carrying through the principle of
specializing administrative functions according to purely objective considerations
(Gerth and Mills 1970, 214).

While Weber saw bureaucracy as functionally efficient, it has become known
for its inefficiencies. For example, bureaucracies can transmit information
efficiently up to a point, but high volumes of information can overload upper levels
in the hierarchical structure and cause communication failures (Iannello 1992;
Comfort 2005; Dodds, Watts, and Sabel 2003). Merton (1968) observed that
bureaucracies can achieve a high degree of technical efficiency, but to do so they
must enforce a high degree of conformity that can lead to the displacement of the
original goals by rules that become ends in themselves. It is this tendency to elevate
rules and procedures to ends in themselves that has led to the common
characterizations of bureaucracy as inflexible, unresponsive, and burdened with red
tape (Kaufman 1977).
Throughout much of the twentieth century, bureaucratic structures and
processes dominated American public administration. Government was organized
by purpose and function, using hierarchies to establish control and assign tasks and
responsibilities (Comfort 2002; Kettl 2004, 2006; Rosenbloom 1998).
Organizational managers controlled the actions of members below them by
exercising the authority of their positions (Mandell 1990).
Kettl (2003, 2004, 2006) observes that coordination issues in formal
organizations have often been addressed through redesigning organizational
structures, but that structural solutions have rarely been successful because
coordination is a contingent problem. Kettl (2004, 2006) asserts that the hierarchical

tradition no longer fits well with operating realities of public administration and
recommends a collaborative, network-based approach rather than creating more
hierarchical relationships. However, he notes that the political symbolism of the
hierarchical tradition continues to be very powerful (Kettl 2006).
Over the last century, conditions changed for both the private and public
sectors. Interdependence created by specialization and professionalization,
turbulence in organizations external environments, and rapid changes in technology
and society resulted in a need for new approaches to organization and management
(Bennis 1997; Cleveland 1985; Kettl 2006). In addition, new perspectives on
organizations, individual and interpersonal behavior, and management called into
question earlier mechanistic assumptions. Currently, while government and industry
continue to have many bureaucratic structures, they also make use of alternative
forms of organization.
Networks and Collaboration
One type of organization that represents a significant departure from the
bureaucratic organization is the network. While a network perspective can be
applied to the analysis of any type of organization, a network as a form of
organization is a distinct type consisting of voluntary, cooperative connections
among independent organizations in pursuit of common purposes that cannot be
achieved by any one organization. (Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Booher 2004;
Keast et al. 2004; Scott 1998; Wohlstetter, Smith, and Malloy 2005).

Similar organizational forms that are referred to by other names include
strategic alliances (Wohlstetter, Smith, and Malloy 2005), network structures
(Booher 2004; Keast et al 2004), and collaborative public management (OLeary,
Gerard, and Bingham 2006). Individual authors may distinguish among these
variously denoted organizational forms according to differences in longevity,
stability, size, and other variables, but, as Mandell and Steelman (2003) have noted,
these differences are not reflected consistently in the terms used. When contrasted
with traditional formal organizations, the similarities are more important for the
present discussion than the differences. Therefore, the organizational arrangements
listed above will be aggregated and considered together with networks as one
organizational form.
Private sector networks are usually established to gain competitive advantage
for an industry or a single company and, therefore, differ in goals and often
governance from networks in the public and non-profit sectors (Burt 2005; Mandell
and Steelman 2003). Thus, while a great deal has been written about private sector
networks, the literature reviewed here is generally limited to that on established for
public purposes, whether under government auspices or in the non-profit realm.
Closely related to networks is collaboration, and the work of network and
collaboration scholars overlaps. The term collaboration is used both to refer to
certain types of behaviorfor example, in collective action theoryand as a name
that denotes a process, organizational form, or relationship. In the latter sense,

collaboration has been defined as a process (Gray 1989; Thomson and Perry 2006)
an interactive process (Wood and Gray 1991), a temporary organizational form
(Roberts and Bradley 1991), a mutually beneficial relationship involving sharing of
responsibility, authority, and accountability for achieving common goals (Crislip and
Larson 1994), and, simply, working relationships among organizations (Provan et al.
2003). While Gray (1989) and Wood and Gray (1991) restrict the term collaboration
to consensus processes, other authors do not necessarily associate collaboration with
a specific type of decision making.
Collaboration is not the same as coordination or cooperation. Coordination
of resources and activities may be achieved in a variety of ways, including through
command and control structures and procedures (Gulick 1997). Cooperation
involves a willingness to coordinate with other actors or entities in pursuit of a
specific objective (AgranofF2006). Collaboration is distinguished from coordination
or cooperation by the voluntary nature of participation and the sharing of authority,
responsibility, and accountability (Crislip and Larson 1994; Gray 1989).
Cooperation has been studied extensively in both natural and laboratory
settings (Cohen, Riolo, and Axelrod 2001; Ostrom 1990). Axelrod (1984) presents
evidence that, when cooperation can advance individual interests, it can develop
even among antagonists. However, some collection action theorists, such as Olson,
(1971) argue that, except in very small groups, individuals will not cooperate to
achieve common ends without coercion or other incentives.

Collective action involves the pursuit of common ends by groups of
individuals. Olson (1971) presented a theory of collective action that departs from
earlier theories of group action (such as labor theory and Marxian theories of class
action) that assumed individuals would act together to pursue a common objective
from which they stood to benefit. Olson argued that a common goal is not sufficient
to make individuals act collectively (without coercion or some separate incentive),
because they stand to gain the benefit of actions of others without participating
themselves. This is known as the free-rider problem. In small groups, where each
member stands to get a higher proportion of the total benefit, there is more incentive
to participate, although the outcome will still be suboptimal for the individuals
(Olson 1971, 34-35). Olson concludes that only when groups are small, or when
they are fortunate enough to have an independent source of selective incentives, will
they organize or act to achieve their objectives (Olson 1971, 167).
However, Olsons theory (1971) fails to explain such examples of
cooperation as the resolution of common-pool resource problems in natural settings
(Ostrom 1990) and various forms of collective altruism that are frequently displayed
following disasters (Drabek 1994; Drabek and McEntire 2002; Fischer 1998; Perry
and Lindell 2003; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001). While it can be argued that
societal norms and individual psychological satisfaction can serve as the selective
incentives to which Olson refers, including norms and psychological benefits as

possible incentives may make Olsons theory overly broad, and, therefore, not useful
for explaining behavior (Green and Shapiro 1994).
Elinor Ostrom (1990) takes issue with uncritical applications of Olsons
model, arguing that he assumes extreme conditions that do not necessarily match
conditions in the real world. She argues that Olsons model is useful for predicting
behavior in large groups in which no one communicates, everyone acts
independently, no attention is paid to the effects of ones actions, and the costs of
trying to change the structure of the situation are high (Ostrom 1990, 184).
Prisoners Dilemma games have been used to examine the emergence of
cooperation in small, controlled settings. Cohen, Riolo, and Axelrod (2001) found
that when pairings were fixed or varied within small sets of players, sustained
cooperative behavior developed. They attribute the cooperative behavior to the
continuity of interaction (e g., in repeated games) within stable social structures and
the effect it has on actors expectations of the immediate future. In addition, other
research suggests that norms of reciprocity and fairness may encourage cooperation
in both laboratory and natural settings (Ostrom 1990; Sigmund, Fehr, and Nowak
As noted above, collaboration is distinguished from cooperation by the
sharing of authority, responsibility, and accountability. Collaborative relationships
are characterized by reciprocity and interdependence (Imperial 2005; Powell 1990).
Exchange mechanisms may be informal and depend more on relationships and

shared goals than on internal or external authority structures (Imperial 2005; Powell
1990). Thompson and Perry (2006) refer to collaboration as a higher order level of
collective action than cooperation. They define collaboration as
.. a process in which autonomous actors interact through formal and
informal negotiation, jointly created rules and structures governing
their relationships and ways to act or decide on the issues that brought
them together.. .(2006, 23).
Collaboration is the fundamental process by which networks are governed.
Networks may have advantages over traditional organizations in situations
where individual organizations do not have all the resources needed to solve the
problem, problem domains cross organizational boundaries, diverse perspectives or
stakeholders are needed to formulate viable solutions, or environments are
characterized by complexity, rapid change, or uncertainty (Agranoff 2007; AgranofF
and McGuire 2001; Booher and Innes 2002; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004). Networks
may marshal a wider range of resources, bring together more perspectives, diverse
expertise, and a wider array of stakeholders than individual organizations. They may
be characterized by broad information sharing among members and may be more
flexible and adaptive than traditional organizations. Networks may produce
innovations or new alternatives as a result of the interaction and collaboration of the
participants (Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Booher and Innes 2002; Goldsmith and
Eggers 2004), although collaborative processes may be slow. Finally, Agranoff and
McGuire suggest that network decision making may be more rational than individual

decision making because there is more information available, more alternatives to
consider, and decision systems are less bounded by individual thinking. However,
network governance and management have received attention only recently. Theory
and research on what is required to achieve performance through networks is,
perhaps, less developed than theory and research on achieving performance in
Network Governance and Management
Members of networks developed for public purposes share a commitment to
specific goals or purposes. However, as Olson (1971) argued in his theory of
collective action, commitment to goals is not sufficient to ensure success. As in
other types of organizations, the success of networks may depend on their
governance and management (Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Goldsmith and Eggers
2004; Thomson and Perry 2006).
Organizations that participate in public sector networks can act
independently, regardless of whether the organizations are non-profit, private, or
governmental, or, if the last, the level of government to which the organization
belongs (Mandell 1990). Shared responsibility and blurred lines of authority replace
the clear divisions of responsibilities and lines of authority that characterize
bureaucracies (National Academy of Public Administration 1991). Because
relationships are not hierarchical, networks must be managed differently from

Collaboration theorists, and some network theorists, argue that formal,
hierarchical authority structures are incompatible with collaboration, and that
participants must be equal partners for collaboration to occur (Booher 2004; Gray
1989; Keast et al. 2004). However, all network organizations have some form of
governance. There are at least three forms: self-governance, governance by a
network administrative body, and governance by a lead organization (Provan and
Kenis 2005; Provan and Milward 1995; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004). The form that
network governance takes may depend on the purpose of the network. In many
public management networks, implementation takes place inside the individual
organizations and, thus, apart from the network itself (Agranoff 2007). This may
permit more informal structures. When the network itself is responsible for task
performance, it is likely to develop a more formal structure with elements of
hierarchy (Iannello 1992).
In a self-governing network, the members make all decisions jointly and are
collectively responsible for managing relationships internal and external to the
network. Network relationships are horizontal and collaborative, and power is
shared among equal partners (Booher 2004; Gray 1989; Keast et al. 2004; Provan
and Kenis 2005). The absence of formal hierarchical relations, however, does not
necessarily mean that power is equal (Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Agranoff 2006;
Iannello 1992; Mandell 1990, 2002; Provan and Milward 1995). Two sources of
power in networks are the power to withdraw and the power that comes from

linkages to external resources (Mandell 1990; Agranoff 2007). In addition, where
organizations depend on each other to accomplish network goals, organizations that
are essential to the networks success have more power than less essential
organizations, regardless of the structure of the network (Mandell 1990). Iannello
1992) observes that organizations that allow leadership to develop naturally run the
risk that certain members may gain informal power. Agranoff and McGuire (2001)
suggest that the focus among scholars on equity and joint decision making in
collaborative efforts may mask the potential for coercive action in networks among
actors with different roles and carrying different weights.
Power can be either a positive or a negative force in networks. Collaboration
theorists such as Booher and Innes (2002) express concern that power as it has been
traditionally viewedthe ability of one player, organization or class to make
another person or group do something it would otherwise not do (222)is not
compatible with collaboration. However, power is not always coercive. In contrast
to exercising power over others in the network, the power of organizations to
mobilize, organize, or perform other critical functions may be positive (Agranoff and
McGuire 2001). In an empirical study of fourteen networks, Agranoff and McGuire
(2001) found both types of power were active in each of the networks.
One way of marshaling power in a network is through governance by a
network administrative body such as a board or steering committee. While the locus
of policy determination rests with the board or committee and with the larger body of

members, a board or committee may choose to set up administrative structures and
mechanisms to assist in maintaining the network and providing accountability and
may designate or hire a lead individual and/or support staff. The actual work
performed to accomplish network goals may be carried out through standing
committees or work groups (Agranoff2006), or within the constituent organizations.
In networks developed to provide public services or address public problems,
frequently there is a lead organization that governs the network. The lead
organization may be a constituent organization, or it may be a public agency
accountable for the outputs of the network (Goldsmith and Eggers 2004; McGuire
2002; National Academy of Public Administration 1991). A lead organization may
be the recipient of a grant or contract to coordinate a network of organizations
providing specific services, for example, to Katrina evacuees, or it may assume lead
responsibilities because of its capacity or stature among network members. A public
agency may develop a network of organizations under grants, contracts, or purely
voluntary arrangements to conduct the work that it lacks the resources to accomplish
on its own.
Where the lead organization is a public agency, there is likely to be a public
manager with specific responsibility for the networks outputs and for the
expenditure of public funds (Goldsmith and Eggers 2004). These managers may
have to adopt new strategies and acquire new skills, since their control over
organizations in the network is limited and indirect (National Academy of Public

Administration 1991; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004). Network scholars generally
agree that, because of the limited and indirect control, network management requires
different approaches from the management of traditional hierarchical organizations
(Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Booher 2004; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004; Keast et
al. 2004; Milward and Provan 2000; National Academy of Public Administration
Even with a lead organization or a public manager with accountability for
network performance in a lead role, the authority structure of networks is
fundamentally different from that of bureaucratic organizations, with accountability
for results replacing accountability to the next level in a hierarchy (Agranoff and
McGuire 2001; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004). Agranoff (2007, 87) describes
authority in networks as pooled authority that is based more on expertise than on
position. Network accountability structures are necessarily broader and more
flexible than in traditional bureaucracies, with less emphasis on how the work is
accomplished (Goldsmith and Eggers 2004). Regardless of the form of governance
of the network, successful management depends on bargaining and negotiating
among members (Mandell 1990).
Under all forms of network governance, someone needs to maintain contact
with members, set meetings, coordinate communications, and carry out other routine
administrative tasks (Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004;
Provan and Milward 1995; Thomson and Perry 2006). Thus, networks, especially

those governed by an administrative body or a lead agency, may institutionalize rules
or create additional administrative structures to take on network maintenance
functions as well as to monitor activities and progress toward goals (Imperial 2005;
Provan and Milward 1995; Thomson and Perry 2006). Maintenance activities
include recruiting or mobilizing members, managing the relationships among the
members, and establishing rules for interaction (Agranoff and McGuire 2001;
Goldsmith and Eggers 2004).
Agranoff (2006) identified four elements of power in networks: a champion
or champions, a political core, a technical core, and paid staff. The champion is
typically a prestigious head of a public agency or non-profit organization who drives
the formation of the network; the political core is composed of other agency
department heads and officials of non-profit organizations; the technical core is made
up of workgroup or committee members with particular expertise; and the paid staff
often perform the administrative tasks. This suggests that governance structures and
even the provisions for accomplishing technical and administrative tasks have
implications for power relations in networks.
Goldsmith and Eggers (2004) and Kiefer and Montjoy (2006) insist that
formal governance structures, such as boards or management by a lead organization
with positional authority, are important for effective networks. In a comparative
study of four community mental health providers, Pro van and Milward (1995) found
that networks integrated and coordinated through a core agency were more likely to

be effective than dense, cohesive networks integrated in a decentralized way among
the organizational providers that made up the system. They suggest that the
monitoring and control activities engaged in by the core agency may be critical to
getting autonomous agencies to pursue system or network goals rather than their own
Regardless of the form of network governance, many writers on networks
agree that some form of leadership is necessary to maintain the network and help it
accomplish the shared goals (Agranoff and McGuire 2001; Crislip and Larson 1994;
Goldsmith and Eggers 2004; Provan and Milward 1995; Provan et al. 2005). For
example, Crislip and Larson (1994) stress the importance of a leader in collaborative
efforts to keep participants involved, help negotiate difficult points, and enforce
group norms and ground rules. Agranoff and McGuire (2001) and Agranoff (2007)
suggest that leadership in the form of soft guidance is an important factor in
maintaining self-managing networks. Goldsmith and Eggers (2004) and Agranoff
and McGuire (2001) note that aligning goals and structuring incentives to promote
cooperation are necessary to the success of the network. Agranoff and McGuire
suggest, further, that a network leader may need to act as a facilitator or broker to
accomplish goal alignment and the proper structuring of incentives.
In spite of the importance these various writers place on leadership, they do
not offer a definition of it, nor consistently distinguish it from management. It
appears that the choice of the term stems from the different authority structure of

networks, and therefore, the need for facilitation and brokerage rather than the
exercise of hierarchical authority (Agranoff2007; Agranoff and McGuire 2001;
Goldsmith and Eggers 2004; Mandell 1990). Nevertheless, Goldsmith and Eggers
(2004, 76) suggest that a public agency in the lead or managerial role can use its
positional authority and perceived impartiality to coordinate the different parties
and resolve disputes.
Network cohesion is often mentioned as important for effective network
performance, and relationship building and trust are frequently cited as key elements
in network integration (Agranoff 2007; Goldsmith and Eggers 2004; Imperial 2005;
Powell 1990; Thomson and Perry 2006). Agranoff (2007,230) even suggests that
trust derived by smooth collaborative processes is a functional substitute for
formal hierarchy. Agranoff (2007) identifies pre-existing relationships among
individuals, previous collaborations among constituent organizations, consensus
building processes, and actual work production and goal accomplishment by the
network as sources of trust. Booher and Innes (2002) see reliable reciprocity as the
basis of trust in networks and as the foundation of the interdependence on which the
power of networks is based. Agranoff and McGuire (2001) emphasize that network
leaders play a central role in developing both trust and network cohesion by eliciting
common goals and engaging in other strategic interactions such as brokering the
contributions of network members.

Summary of Key Points
Networks consist of voluntary cooperative connections among independent
organizations pursuing common purposes that cannot be achieved by any one
organization. Because of their flexibility and adaptability, they may have advantages
over traditional organizations where problem domains cross organizational
boundaries, diverse perspectives are needed, or environments are characterized by
complexity, rapid change or uncertainty.
Networks require different forms of governance and management from
traditional bureaucracies. In networks, authority, responsibility, and accountability
for outcomes are shared. Networks may be self-governing, governed by a board or
steering committee, or governed by a lead organization. Regardless of the form,
there are certain administrative tasks common to network functioning that must be
carried out, such as setting meetings and coordinating communications.
Interdependence and cohesion are among network members are thought to be
important for network performance. Network scholars stress that for networks to be
successful, some form of leadership is required to align goals, foster trust, achieve
network cohesion, and manage relationships among members. This may sometimes
be provided by a representative of a lead organization or a public manager with
responsibility for the performance of the network;

Social Capital
Definitions and Basic Concepts
Social capital is a concept that has gained much attention in recent years as
various authors have sought to use it to explain differences in social, economic, and
political outcomes at the individual, group, and societal level. Social capital was
used by Bourdieu (1980, 1985) and Loury (1977) to explain differences in socio-
economic positions in society that were inadequately explained by individual or class
differences per se. Bourdieu defined social capital as the actual or potential
resources available through linkages among individuals and groups. Thus, for
Bourdieu, the volume of social capital accessible to an individual is the sum of the
economic, cultural, and symbolic capital possessed by that individual and the set of
individuals to which he/she is connected (1980, 1985). Loury (1977, 176)
characterized social capital as a social force outside the individuals control that
represents the consequences of social position in facilitating acquisition of human
capital, that is, individual differences in education and work experience.
Coleman (1988) built on these understandings of social capital in forming a
more general definition of social capital as an aspect of social structure that
facilitates action. For Coleman, social capital is an attribute of the relations between
individuals that forms as a result of reciprocal transactions. If A does something for
B and trusts B to reciprocate in the future, this establishes an expectation in A and an
obligation on the part of B (Coleman 1990, 306).

In order for obligations and expectations to create social capital, two
elements are critical: the trustworthiness of the social environmentthat is, how
certain it is that the obligations will be repaidand the extent of obligations held.
The greater the degree of interdependence, the greater the amount of social capital
that will be generated. Thus, reciprocity within closed networks generates
interdependence in the form of obligations and expectations, with symmetrical
relations generally producing higher amounts of social capital than asymmetrical,
authority based relations.
In Colemans (1990) view, the stability of the social structure is important for
creating and maintaining social capital. In order for social capital to be maintained,
social networks must be maintained. In general, he sees mobility as a factor that
inhibits the development and maintenance of social capital. Of particular interest for
this dissertation, he notes that organizations with positions rather than individuals as
elementsthe classic bureaucracy have stable structures. Therefore, social capital
can be created and persist in the relations among positions even when incumbents
change. Although Coleman stresses that symmetrical relations generally produce
higher amounts of social capital than asymmetric relations, he also argues that
authority relations can be important forms of social capital that can coordinate
Other authors employ a variety of definitions of social capital depending on
whether the focus is on the individual, the community, the general society, or a

network of specific relations. For example, Brehm and Rahn (1997, 1000) describe
social capital as an aggregate concept that has its basis in individual behavior,
attitudes, and predispositions. Fukuyama (1995, 26) defines it as a capability that
arises from the prevalence of trust in a society or certain parts of it . Burt (2005, 4)
defines it as the advantage created by a persons location in a structure of
relationships. Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998, 243) define social capital as the sum
of the actual and potential resources embedded within, available through, and
derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit.
This is the definition employed in this dissertation, because it can be applied to
multiorganizational networks without requiring extension or revision.
It is primarily through the writings of Putnam (1993, 1995a, 1995b, 2000)
that the concept of social capital has gained wide attention. For Putnam, social
capital refers to features of social organization such as trust, norms, and networks,
that can improve the efficiency of society by facilitating coordinated actions (1993,
167). In contrast to Coleman, for whom the concept is neutral, Putnam sees social
capital as having positive benefits. Putnam (2000) describes social capital as having
both a private and a public face. An individuals social capital is the sum of his or
her relations or connectedness to others, while, at the community or society level,
social capital is the overall interconnectedness of individuals, and more importantly,

Putnam has used different levels of social capital first to explain differences
in the performance of social and political institutions in different regions of Italy
(1993) and then to explain the decline in public participation and generalized trust in
the United States (1995a, 1995b, 2000). In his study of Italy, Putnam found a strong
interrelationship among democratic institutions, economic progress, and social
capital, with the last characterized by networks of civic engagement, generalized
reciprocity, and trust. He also found that the weak ties of inter-group relations
foster wider cooperation than do the strong ties of intra-group relations. In the
United States, Putnam observed a decline in public participation and trust in
government that he linked to a decline in civic engagement as measured by falling
memberships in associations. Putnams theory of social capital and its relationship
to democracy can be summarized in four propositions:
1. Networks of civic engagement foster norms of generalized reciprocity and
encourage the emergence of social trust.
2. Such networks assist in the resolution of collective action problems by
facilitating coordination and communication and by building and communicating
3. Successful collaboration becomes a model for future collaboration.
4. Dense networks of interaction may alter an individuals awareness of self
from a narrow I to a broader we (Putnam 1995a, 1995b).

Putnam (2000) stresses the difference between intra-group and inter-group
social capital, or bonding and bridging social capital. The first builds intra-group
solidarity, while the second provides links to other assets in the society. In Putnams
words, bonding social capital constitutes a kind of sociological superglue, whereas
bridging social capital provides a sociological WD-40 (23). He asserts that social
capital, particularly the bridging type, facilitates the resolution of collective
problems, reduces the costs of social and business transactions, widens awareness of
commonalities with others, helps information flow, and improves lives through
psychological and biological factors. In addition, he argues, participation in civic
associations fosters civic virtues, including active participation in public life.
Since the publication of Putnams work on Italy in 1993, the concept of
social capital has been applied in a number of areas, including the study of civic
engagement (e g. Brehm and Rahn 1997; Kazee and Roberts 1998; Stolle 1998;
Stolle and Rochon 1998), political efficacy (e g. Booth and Richard 1998; van Deth
1998), economic development (e.g. Crowe 2007; Flora et al. 1997; Jennings and
Haist 1998), health (e g. Cannuscio, Block, and Kawachi 2003; Lochner et al. 2003),
and organizations (e g. Burt 1997; Provan and Milward 2001). In some studies
social capital is used as an antecedent or independent variable (e g. Burt 1997; Flora
et al 1997; Kazee and Roberts 1998; Jennings and Haist 1998; van Deth 1998), while
in others it has been analyzed as at outcome or dependent variable (e g. Brehm and
Rahn 1997; Stolle 1998).

As might be expected when a concept has been used differently by different
researchers and applied in many different contexts, there is disagreement among
scholars as to the definition of social capital, the completeness of its
conceptualization, and whether its role (for example, in civil society, economic
progress, or political efficacy) is positive or negative (Chambers and Kopstein 2001;
Edwards and Foley 1997; Law and Mooney 2006; Maloney, Smith, and Stoker 1998;
Newton 1997; Portes and Landolt 1996; Sturtevant 2006; Woolcock 1998). But in
addition to disagreement among social capital theorists and researchers, there has
been criticism by other authors who question the soundness of social capital as a
concept. Woolcock (1998) asserts that it is not clear whether social capital is the
infrastructure or the content of social relations (156). Fine (2002) and Law and
Mooney (2006) call social capital an elusive concept. Fine criticizes social
capitalists for using it to explain everything from individuals to societies and for
responding to criticism by adding variables that further confuse the concept. Foley
and Edwards (1997) and DeFilippis (2002) argue that social capitalists, and Putnam
in particular, ignore power relations and conflict. Edwards and Foley (2001) claim
that Putnam is oblivious to institutions and structural causation. Law and Mooney
(2006) and Fine (2002) object to putting social together with capital. They
argue that it does not create a distinct meaning, because economic capital is also
social in nature.

In spite of the serious criticisms of theoretical constructions of social capital,
Bebbington (2002) argues that it has value as a mesolevel concept that can be
usefully linked to other bodies of theory in order to ground them better by focusing
our attention on actors and their networks (801). He further argues that is useful as
a linguistic device (802) for facilitating exchange among scholars in different
fields. In that spirit, and following Colemans (1990) formulation, social capital is
used in this dissertation to refer to an attribute of the relations between actors that is
distinct from attributes of the actors themselves.
Granovetter (1973) first called attention to the different types of social
capital. He observed that those to whom we are weakly tied are more likely to
move in circles different from our own and will thus have access to information
different from that which we receive (1371). Thus, weak tiesor bridging social
capital (in Putnams (2000) later terminology)are thought to facilitate the
diffusion of information and ideas. However, Granovetter points out that his theory
of weak ties may not be applicable to small, face to face groups or to groups in
confined institutional or organizational settings where interactions are dense (1376).
Elinor Ostrom (1990) has observed that, in small-scale local settings where
there are repeated communication and interaction, people may learn who is
trustworthy and how to organize themselves to solve problems. She states that
when individuals have lived in such situations for a substantial time
and have developed shared norms and patterns of reciprocity, they
possess social capital with which they can build institutional

arrangements for resolving CPR [common pool resource] dilemmas
(Ostrom 1990, 184).
This suggests that strong ties facilitate collective action, whereas Putnam (1993,
2000) argued it was weak ties that were important for collective action.
Some experimental research suggests that communication substantially
increases cooperation. Ostrom (1990) suggests that it is not the content of the
information communicated that seems to matter as much as the act of
communicating face-to-face. [Exchanging mutual commitment, increasing trust,
creating and reinforcing norms, and developing a group identity appear to be the
most important processes that make communication efficacious (7). However,
Sturtevant (2006) notes that bonding social capital may inhibit the solution of
collective action problems by suppressing dissenting views or exerting pressure to
conform. It is for such reasons as these that Putnam (1995a, 1995b) has emphasized
bridging social capital in collective action.
Crowe (2007) found that both bonding and bridging social capital were
important in community economic development. She suggests that cohesive ties
among subcomponents of a community network lower the risk of cooperation in self-
development activities within the community, but that weak ties were important for
accessing resources and information outside the community. Thus, while strong and
weak ties function differently, both may be important for collective action.

Burt (2000, 2005) has identified the importance of both types of social capital
in discussing brokerage and closure in cross-functional teams. His work
suggests that performance is highest when brokerage (diverse external contacts) is
combined with closure (internal cohesiveness). Weak ties may bring together
diverse resources and perspectives while strong ties facilitate quick, coordinated
action. Together, the weak and strong ties may provide the right ingredients for
successful collaboration and creative problem solving. Applying this to disaster
response suggests that an emergent multiorganizational network may benefit
simultaneously from pre-existing weak ties among the independent organizations and
strong ties (cohesiveness) that develop while participating in the network.
Ostrom notes that the success of small collaborations create social capital that
can be applied to solving larger problems requiring more complex solutions. This
point was also made by Putnam (1993) in his study of Italy. It is echoed by experts
on deliberative processes who point to how the exercise of having participants come
to agreement on the process rules establishes a pattern for collaboration and problem
solving (Fisher and Brown 1989; Kheel 1999; Program for Community Problem
Solving 1989). The evidence from deliberative processes suggests that establishing a
pattern for collaboration and problem solving can happen more quickly than is
sometimes assumed.
Axelrod (1984) argues that disaggregating problems or issues into small
pieces allows parties to make many small moves rather than a few large ones. This

increases interaction and makes reciprocity and cooperation more likely.
Furthermore, he states that cooperation can get started by even a small cluster of
individuals who are prepared to reciprocate cooperation, even in a world where no
one else will cooperate (173). According to Axelrod, neither trust, altruism, nor
central authority is required for cooperation. What is required is that actors be able
to recognize one another, recall the prior history of interactions, and have an
expectation that they may interact in the future (Axelrod 1984, 174). Axelrod (182)
observes that the role of time perspectives is critical in the maintenance of
cooperation. When the interaction is likely to continue for a long time, and the
players care enough about their future together, the conditions are ripe for the
emergence and maintenance of cooperation (182). He concludes that [t]he
foundation of cooperation is not really trust, but the durability of the relationship
However, trust appears as an important variable in social capital theory and
collective action theory, as well as in collaboration and network theory. Trust may
be defined as:
the expectation of one person about the actions of others that affects
the first persons choice, when an action must be taken before the
actions of others are known. (Ostrom, 1998, 12).
Trust in networks may have a different character from direct interpersonal
trust. In a network with actors engaged in a goal-directed activityor, for that
matter, in most complex organizationsunless each actor can directly and fully

observe the actions of each other actor, each must trust to some degree that the other
will do his part (Coleman 1990, 188). Coleman considers this a special case of
trust in organizations, just as he recognizes the special type of social capital that
exists among positions in organizations.
Network scholars note the importance of social capital in public sector
networks both for the production of current services and for the joint production of
future services (Provan and Milward 2001). As was noted in an earlier section,
Booher and Innes (2002) stress the importance of reciprocity and interdependence
in essence, social capitalin holding networks together. Networks can create social
capital, but they must also maintain it (Burt 2004) if it is to contribute to more
efficient and effective services in the future.
From this discussion, it seems that social capital may have important
functions in emergent multiorganizational networks responding to disasters. First,
both bonding and bridging social capital that exists among participants in the
network prior to the disaster may facilitate collaboration. During the response,
bridging social capital may contribute diverse knowledge, skills, and information,
while bonding social capital that develops among participating organizations may
increase effectiveness and efficiency. Finally, social capital developed during a
disaster response may last after a specific collaborative effort is finished and
facilitate future ones.

Indicators of Social Capital
Social capital has been measured through a variety of indicators such as
interpersonal trust (Booth and Richard 1998; Brehm and Rahn 1997), memberships
in associations and other forms of civic activity (Brehm and Rahn 1997; Cigler and
Joslyn 2002); trust or confidence in national institutions or political systems (Brehm
and Rahn 1997; Kazee and Roberts 1998; van Deth 1998), community ties such as
length of residence (Fuchs, Minnite, and Shapiro 2000); and generalized trust (Berry,
Portney, and Thomson 1993; Putnam 2000; Stolle 1998). It has also been measured
at the community and societal level as the density of memberships in associations
(ONeill and Molina 1998; Portney and Berry 1997; Putnam 2000). These reflect a
view of social capital that sees it in terms of values, attitudes, norms, and behaviors
of individuals that are measurable at the individual and group or community level.
The structural view, as put forth by Bourdieu (1980, 1985), Loury (1977), and
Coleman (1990) requires different analytical approaches such as those of social
network analysis.
Social network analysis is a structural approach to relationships among social
actors, both individuals and collectivities (Wasserman and Faust 1994). Many of the
concepts of social network analysissuch as the density of ties, the strength of ties,
and reciprocityare also important concepts in social capital theory. Both social
capital and social network analysis are concerned with the relations between and
among actors, rather than attributes of the individual actors. Since social network

analysis is able to map relations among actors and measure the strength of ties, its
concepts and tools lend themselves well to studying both bonding and bridging
social capital, which, as noted above, may be important in emergent
multiorganizational networks responding to disasters. Social network analysis will
be discussed in more detail later in this chapter.
Summary of Key Points
Social capital consists of the actual or potential resources available from a
network of relationships. Reciprocity and interdependence are important for
building and maintaining social capital. Strong ties (bonding social capital) create
intragroup cohesion, while weak ties (bridging social capital) facilitate information
exchange and broader, intergroup cooperation. Reputation, the durability of
relationships, future expectations for interaction, and communication also appear to
be important for cooperation. Most, though not all scholars argue that trust is
important as well. While social capital is often measured as an attribute of
individuals or groups, it can also be viewed as an attribute of the relations between
social actors, whether those are individuals or organizations. Social network analysis
is a structural approach to social relations that can be used to study social capital.
Disaster Theory and Research
While the term disaster^ is used loosely in common speech and by the
media, scholars have attempted to define it more precisely. The most common
definition in the disaster research field views disasters as extreme events impacting

health, safety, and property that exceed the capabilities of the affected areas to deal
with them (Comfort, Ko, and Zagorecki 2004; Fischer 1998: Tierney, Lindell, and
Perry 2001). A variation on this functionalist perspective emphasizes the disruption
of community life rather than impacts to health, safety, and property per se
(Quarantelli 2001). From a social constructionist perspective, disasters are defined
not by the physical events or by the disruption of social life but by the meaning given
to the events, especially by those promoting claims about disasters and seeking to put
disaster issues on the public agenda (Kreps and Drabek 1996; Tierney, Lindell, and
Perry 2001). Disasters can also be seen as the convergence of vulnerability and
physical hazards. The vulnerability perspective focuses attention on the political,
economic, social, and cultural factors that put populations at risk and fail to protect
them (Bolin and Stanford 1998; Oliver-Smith 2005; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry
2001). These various definitions do not have to be viewed as mutually exclusive.
Rather, taken together, they direct attention to the conditions under which certain
populations can be affected by physical conditions or events, how the conditions or
events are perceived by those affected and by observers, and the consequences of
those perceptions for mitigation, warning and evacuation, response, and recovery.
Disaster scholars and practitioners break disasters into different phases and
may focus research or planning efforts on a specific phase or phases. Fischer (1998)
discusses five phases: pre-impact, impact, immediate post-impact, recovery, and
long-term reconstruction. Killian (2002) refers to four phases: warning, impact,

emergency, and recovery. Drabek (2003) has studied emergent multiorganizational
networks in four phases: warning, evacuation, emergency response, and restoration.
FEMA training materials take a broader view of disasters and break disasters into
four phases: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery (Drabek 1996).
Abbreviated definitions of each of these in turn are: activities that reduce the degree
of long-term risk to human life and property, activities that develop operational
capabilities for responding to an emergency, activities taken immediately before,
during, or directly after an emergency, and short term activities that restore vital
life-support systems to minimum operating standards and long-term activities that
return life to normal (McCloughlin 1985,166). It is important to note that the
phases of disasters are neither linear nor mutually exclusive. Rather, they may
overlap and the boundaries may be indistinct (Neal 1995). Nevertheless, the
designation of phases is useful for framing discussion and research efforts. The
work on disasters reviewed here is primarily related to the response phase, that is, the
short-term mobilization of resources to respond to an immediate problem, since this
dissertation is concerned with the organization of such responses.
Government organizations typically have lead roles in disaster response, and
the coordination of disaster response is almost always a function of government
officials. However, many government and non-government organizations and
individuals may be involved in disaster response and many will be functioning
outside of their normal patterns.

Social Construction of Disasters
While there is a definition of disasters associated with a social constructionist
perspective, Quarantelli (1989) argues that all our understandings of what constitutes
a disaster are socially constructed. From a sociological perspective, it can be argued
that all meaning is socially constructed, because even realities that appear to be
objective are infused with subjective meaning that arises from social relations
(Berger and Luckmann 1967). The issue that Quarantelli points out in defining
disasters stems from this fundamental understanding of meaning.
One needs to ask: Are disasters an objective reality to which we apply a
label, or does the concept of disaster arise from the meaning given to the events?
Kreps (1998) takes the former position, insisting on an event-based definition. He
asserts: Disasters are nonroutine events in societies or their larger subsystems (e g.
regions, communities) that involve social disruption and physical harm (34).
Quarantelli takes the latter position: .. we create the phenomenon of disasters by
the conceptual labels we use or impose (245).
The social constructionist definition of disasters not only draws attention to
the general meaning given to the events, but focuses attention on the meaning given
to it by those promoting claims about disasters and seeking to put disaster issues on
the public agenda (Kreps and Drabek 1996; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001). The
social constructionist perspective also provides insight into the impact of disasters on
minority populations and into the phenomena of convergence and emergence (which

are defined later in this chapter). Thus, while the physical effects of destructive
events are readily observed, it is the social conceptions of disaster and disaster
victim, (shaped in part by media depictions), that drive disaster response (Dynes
and Rodriguez 2005; Hurlbert, Beggs, and Haines 2005; Kreps and Drabek 1996;
Quarantelli 2005). In particular, these social conceptions encourage altruistic and
socially integrative responses and influence the emergent norms of disaster situations
(Tierney, Lindell, Perry 2001). At the same time, such social conceptions, which
often reflect the understandings of dominant or elite groups, shape public policy
(Fischer 2003).
Schneider and Ingram (1997; Ingram and Schneider 2005) have written
extensively about the social construction of populations that are targets of public
policy. Tierney, Lindell, and Perry (2001) have noted that dominant cultural
assumptions shape the way that organizations respond to the victims of disasters and
may result in the failure to take cultural differences into account in the delivery of
disaster-related services (217). For example, the social construction of the property
owner has been positive since at least the time of the nations founding, while the
social construction of many minorities, particularly African-Americans, has been
negative (Ingram and Schneider 2005). The impact of these social constructions may
be seen in the design and implementation of official disaster relief policies that
provide benefits to property owners but fail to address the needs of renters, a group

that typically includes many citizens with the fewest resources and one that may be
composed disproportionately of members of minority communities (Roberts 2005).
Disaster victims are not only targets of public policy at several levels of
government, but also of non-governmental organizations, emergent groups, and
individuals attempting to render aid. How victims are viewed, specifically, the
degree to which they are perceived as deserving by other groups or the way they
are characterized as qualifying or non-qualifying by bureaucratic aid programs, will
affect what assistance is provided and how it is delivered. For example, following
Katrina, evacuees were perceived as deserving of assistance from FEMA and other
agencies that was not offered to the homeless in the communities where the evacuees
relocated. The exclusion of some individuals and groups from eligibility in
established disaster aid programs may motivate emergent groups to provide direct
aid or lobby on behalf of certain groups of victims.
Impact of Disasters on Minority Populations
In recent years, more attention has been paid to the impact of disasters on
minority populations than previously. Minority populations may be especially
vulnerable to the physical impacts of disasters because of housing patterns that result
in their being located in more vulnerable areas (Fothergill 1999; Tierney, Lindell,
and Perry 2001), such as New Orleans low-lying Ninth Ward. This issue is similar
to that raised by the environmental justice movementthat lack of economic and
political power may result in certain populations residing in less desirable areas with

greater environmental risks, which, in turn, may result in disproportionate suffering
by minority or economically disadvantaged populations (Lester, Allen, and Hill
2001). In addition to location, other risk factors that may make minority populations
more vulnerable in disasters include dwelling units of substandard construction, lack
of awareness of appropriate disaster preparation, and disaster planning that does not
take the needs of minority groups into account (Tierney, Lindell and Perry 2001),
e g., the failure to provide alternative means of evacuation for residents without
access to private vehicles. Physical assets such as housing and financial assets such
as small businesses may be located in the same areas, so that damage to one causes
damage to the other (Lindell and Prater 2003). In addition, lower income groups
may also have low mobility due to factors such as higher than average rates of
disability (Fussell 2005) and ties to extended family members living in the same area
(Lindell and Prater 2003), as was definitely the case in New Orleans. In addition, the
likelihood that extended families live in close proximity reduces the potential for aid
through an extended family network, because many otherwise supportive family
members may be victims themselves (Lindell and Prater 2003).
Institutionalized disaster response often reflects existing socioeconomic
inequalities (Bolin and Stanford 1998; Dyson 2006). The effects of differences in
socioeconomic position are exacerbated by sociocultural factors (Bolin 1986) that
affect risk perception, preparedness, warning communication and response, and
psychological impacts (Fothergill 1999). The structure of government programs and

a lack of sensitivity to sociocultural factors may result in differential impacts of
emergency response, recovery, and reconstruction.
For example, authorities in Louisiana and Mississippi implemented contra-
flow (that is, made all lanes one-way outbound) on the freeways, resulting in the
successful evacuation of over one million people in southern Louisiana, but did not
provide a means of evacuation for those who could not leave on their own. As a
result, some of the poor and largely African-American population left behind in low
lying areas drowned in their homes, while others crowded into locations on high
ground without adequate water, food, or sanitation (U. S. House 2006).
Minority populations and minority community groups may also not be well
integrated into disaster response networks (Lindell and Prater 2003; Phillips 1993).
Phillips (1993) argues that including minority community groups in emergency and
disaster planning can have positive results for certain subpopulations. Bolin and
Stanford (1998) assert that local government, local offices of non-governmental
organizations, and community-based organizations can be more flexible than
standard federal programs and can develop responses that are sensitive to the needs
of minority populations.
Response to Disasters
While it is fortunate that disasters are infrequent occurrences in the
communities that suffer them, their infrequency makes preparing for them difficult.
Not only are there issues of maintaining proficiency in disaster response, but, more

fundamentally, there are issues of capacity. It would be enormously expensive to
prepare and maintain a state of readiness for a wide range of possibilities. Besides,
such preparation would be wasteful, since the actual events are rare (Kettl 2003). To
attempt to be completely prepared would require extremely large on-going
expenditures of funds and time that would inhibit or prohibit many other activities.
Therefore, it may be unrealistic to suppose that there will be full preparation for
A statement attributed by Tierney (1985, 77) to a doctor describing
emergency medical services in disasters applies equally well to disaster response in
general: many people trying to do quickly what they do not ordinarily do, in an
environment with which they are not familiar. No matter how careful the planning
process, no plans can anticipate all the contingencies of a disaster situation. Practice
exercises can only partly prepare responders for the complexities of the response or
for the interorganizational challenges. Nevertheless, planning and preparation have
been identified by numerous researchers as key elements in successful response (e g.
Drabek 2003; McEntire 2002). Tierney, Lindell, and Perry (2001) point out, though,
that cause and effect has not been established clearly between planning and
preparedness on the one hand and successful response on the other due to the many
other variables that come into play.

Convergence and Emergence
Two aspects of disaster response that jurisdictions are rarely prepared for are
convergence and emergence. Convergence is the influx of aid to an area that has
suffered a disaster. It may include equipment, materials, and supplies, as well as
personnel from local, state, and federal government, paid and volunteer personnel
with non-profit organizations, and spontaneous volunteers (Perry and Lindell 2003).
Convergence can substantially increase the available resource base, but without
effective coordination, it can hamper response efforts (Perry and Lindell 2003;
Weber, McEntire, and Robinson 2002). Donations may overwhelm responding
agencies and community organizations and present problems for storage and
disposal, as often what is donated does not match needs. Similarly, spontaneous
volunteers may overwhelm service organizations, and individuals wanting to help
may have difficulty finding volunteer work. The creativity they may exhibit in their
attempts to help can present challenges as well as benefits for emergency
management (Kendra and Wachtendorf2003).
Convergence and other pro-social behaviors, such as offering or providing
food, clothing, and shelter to victims, may arise from several motivations. In
reference to participation in the public sphere generally, Hirschman (1982) has
theorized that human beings are able to reflect on their preferences (contrary to
purely economic models), resulting in psychological factors that drive them to seek
satisfaction in public action. More specifically, disaster researchers have identified a

number of factors that prompt pro-social behavior, including sympathetic
identification with victims, individual feelings of moral obligation, and emergent
norms in favor of helping (Barton 2005).
Lowe and Fothergill (2003) found that spontaneous volunteers after the 9-11
disaster had internalized the suffering of victims, so that they felt victimized
themselves. The self-assumed sense of victimization, in addition to other internal
and external factors, motivated them to try to help. While their activities generally
did have positive effects for the community, the authors found that the greater impact
was on the individual helper who experienced increased feelings of interconnection,
healing, and empowerment (Lowe and Fothergill 2003, 303). Similarly, Britton,
Moran, and Correy (1994) suggest that volunteering may help individuals deal with
stress brought about by the events and their consequences.
Research repeatedly shows that convergence will occur. Nongovernmental
organizations will respond with or without government approval. Volunteers will
arrive with or without an invitation. First responders will self-deploy. This type
of.. behavior is inevitable (Waugh and Streib 2006, 138). Moreover, the additional
resources are often badly needed, yet typical emergency plans do not include
strategies for making use of them. Many disaster researchers advocate the
integration of the community into response and recovery efforts (Drabek and
McEntire 2003; Waugh and Streib 2006), yet it seems that few emergency operations

plans make provisions for including community organizations and spontaneous
Emergence is the phenomenon of new norms, values, and social structures
arising in the aftermath of disasters (Drabek and McEntire 2003; Neal and Phillips
1995; Quarantelli 1985). It is a form of collective behavior, which to sociologists is
group behavior not guided by usual social conventions and norms. While disasters
can be seen as collective stress situations (Kreps and Drabek 1996), research has
shown that altruistic behavior rather than anti-social behavior often emerges
following disasters (Drabek 1994; Drabek and McEntire 2002; Fischer 1998; Perry
and Lindell 2003; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001). Disasters alter community
priorities and values in ways that encourage social participation (Wenger and James,
1994). While some of the shift in values and norms may be forced by the disruption
of normal activities at the disaster site, sympathetic behavior may be observed in
areas well removed from the disaster site in both organized and spontaneous
assistance activities (Perry and Lindell 2003; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001), as
was illustrated following Katrina by the outpouring of donations and the many hours
of volunteer work conducted on behalf of the victims.
Emergent norm theory suggests that certain kinds of precipitating events,
including disasters, create a sense of uncertainty and urgency that prompts people to
act and to create new normative structures as they interact with others (Aquirre,
Wenger, and Vigo 1998). Emergent norms may contrast with pre-disaster norms,

including bureaucratic norms, and lead even formal organizations to depart from
normal procedures temporarily (Neal and Phillips 1995). For example, following
Katrina businesses donated goods, sheltered evacuees, and provided transportation or
other services. (Specific examples are given in chapter 3). Typically, such behavior
does not persist once the immediate crisis has passed.
Emergent social structures are the result of ad hoc organizing that include
new divisions of labor, new hierarchies, and new social networks. The multi-
organizational networks that form to respond to disasters are a form of emergent
social structure that fits the definition of organizations. In contrast, emergent groups
are not organizations, but collections of individuals who work together to pursue
collective goals (Drabek and McEntire 2003; Quarantelli 1985; Stalling and
Quarantelli 1985). Emergent groups arise in response to a perceived need, but more
specifically, they often arise in reaction to a perceived inadequacy of the official
response (Neal and Phillips 1995; Quarantelli 1985; Stallings and Quarantelli 1985).
(Similarly, convergent behavior, such as spontaneous volunteering and donating, can
be prompted by perceptions of inadequate response by official agencies [Dynes and
Rodriguez 2005].)
Participants in emergent groups may have little or no experience with
performing disaster-related tasks. Their roles and relationships are new (Stalling and
Quarantelli 1985; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001) and, as noted above, they may
have negative perceptions of the official response. For these reasons, emergent

groups may be difficult to integrate into the overall response. But they have
flexibility in structure and domain that more established organizations do not, and
they may provide needed labor and other resources (Stallings and Quarantelli 1985).
A few may develop some permanence and develop into organizations, but most will
dissolve once the immediate need they seek to fill has abated.
Emergency Management
As emergency management has evolved into a profession (as well as a field
of study), it has embraced a network model that incorporates multiple levels of
government and organizations from multiple sectors. Emergency management has
become a full-time function in many jurisdictions, with the role of the emergency
manager centering on intergovernmental relations and maintaining links with both
disaster relief organizations and other organizations that may come into play when
disasters occur (Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001; Waugh and Streib 2006). Because
emergency management encompasses all phases of disasters, emergency managers
may be enmeshed in multiple networks, each potentially active at a different phase.
Developing formal plans and engaging in training and exercises are activities
that consume a substantial amount of time in emergency management agencies.
Common training and joint exercises with other agencies and jurisdictions not only
reveal strengths and weaknesses in plans and skills, but build important relationships
among participants. While planning is a key function of emergency management, it
is generally recognized that plans cannot anticipate all contingencies.

Modem emergency management presents a paradox. On one hand,
emergency response requires meticulous organization and planning,
but on the other hand, it is spontaneous. Emergency managers have
to innovate, adapt, and improvise because plans, regardless of how
well done, seldom fit circumstances (Waugh and Streib 2006, 132).
In addition, managers and policy makers must be able to secure collaboration among
different entities to address critical problems that are unique or may occur rarely
(Kettl 2003). Thus, emergency management relies to a great extent on collaborative
networks and the interpersonal skills of the emergency manager (Waugh and Streib
2006). The importance of interpersonal skills may limit the effectiveness of formal
planning, preparedness, and exercises.
The Structure of Disaster Response
A structural typology originally developed at the Disaster Research Center
(DRC) and, therefore, known as the DRC typology, classifies organizations
according to two dimensions of possible change: organizational structure and tasks
(Dynes 1970). Structure can be old or new and tasks can be regular or non-regular.
If the structure of an organization remains the same as before the disaster (old), and
the tasks remain the ones the organization usually carries out (regular), then the
organizations response is classified as established. If, the organizational structure
remains the same but the tasks expand or change, the organizations response is
classified as extending. If an organizations structure changes, perhaps by
expanding to incorporate additional personnel or volunteers, but the tasks remain
routine, the organization is classified as expanding. Finally, if a new entity is

formed to respond to disaster needs, both the structure and tasks are new. These new
structures with non-routine tasks are classified as emergent. A number of authors
have offered additional categories that they feel incorporate types outside the basic
four described above, including various subtypes of expansion, extension, and
emergence, as well as multi-dimensional adaptations such as expansion and
extension occurring together (Drabek and McEntire 2003; Stallings and Quarantelli
1985; Sutton 2003). In this dissertation we utilize the original DRC typology in
interpreting data from the Pikes Peak Disaster Recovery Center.
Kreps (1983) views the organization of disaster response as a process rather
than an entity or entities. He identifies three phases and four elements in the process
of organization. The three phases are initiation, maintenance, and suspension, while
the four elements are domain, tasks, resources, and activities. He characterizes
disaster response systems in terms of the patterns of occurrence of these elements in
each of the phases of organizational process. Various ordered combinations of these
elements yield a total of 64 forms: 24 four-element forms, 24 three-element forms,
12 two-element forms, and four one-element forms. Only the four-element forms
constitute the existence of organization, while the other three forms depict stages in
organizational development. If all four elements are not present, an organization is
not formed and it cannot move into the maintenance phase. Once all four elements
are present, the absence of any element moves the organization into the suspension
phase (Kreps 1983; Kreps and Bosworth 1994; Saunders and Kreps 1987).

Any of the four-element forms appear to be as frequent and effective as the
others, but each indicates different modes of organizing. Formal organizing typically
begins with domain and incorporates tasks, resources, and activities in that order,
while collective behavior (emergent organizations) begins with activities, then
mobilizes resources, establish tasks, and, finally, defines a sphere of activity
(domain) (Saunders and Kreps 1987).
Kreps and his colleagues have used the elements to study the origins of
organizations, the organizing of social networks, and the restructuring of
organizations in disaster response. While developed for application to the process of
organization in disaster response, Saunders and Kreps (1987) suggest that the
elements can be applied to any process of organizing and used to determine when an
actual organization has been formed or suspended. However, the organizing
elements apparently have not been as widely applied in disaster research as the DRC
Kreps and Bosworth (1994) have added another dimension to the structural
view of disaster response with research on role enactment. Their findings include
that role enactment is likely to be conventional when the following conditions are
met: organizations involved have responsibilities related to disaster response, the
roles require significant knowledge, and there is prior experience in carrying out the
roles. When these conditions are not met, Kreps and Bosworth argue, role change
and improvisation are likely.

Coordination of Disaster Response
It is generally agreed that effective coordination increases the likelihood of
effective response to disasters (Drabek and McEntire 2002; Fischer 1998;
Quarantelli 1997; Sorenson, Mileti, and Copenhaver 1985). Quarantelli (1997)
observes that there are different views of coordination, from seeing it simply as one
group informing other groups of what it is doing, to seeing it as the centralization of
decision making. He subscribes to the view that coordination is mutually agreed
upon co-operation about howto carry out particular tasks (Quarantelli 1997,48).
For this dissertation, we adopt a more general definition provided by Drabek (2004,
chap. 20, 8): the process of integrating different organizations and activities in a
system to accomplish a common goal. Because of its importance, coordination has
been both a topic of research and a focus of training materials for practitioners.
Successful disaster response requires the efforts of many organizations,
groups, and individuals, no one of which has the resources or skills to do all of the
tasks required. The multiorganizational networks that are assembled for disaster
response are referred to as emergent because they do not exist in that form prior to
the precipitating event or situation. They are mobilized to respond to a specific event
and typically are suspended or terminated when tasks have been completed or
regular organizational structures are able to assume the tasks (Gillespie et al. 1993;
Kreps 1983; Kreps and Bosworth 1994). Since the patterns of organization for
disasters reflect the organization for routine activities in society, and since findings

from research on organizational behavior and relations in disasters are generally
consistent with those from other organizational research (Sorenson, Mileti, and
Copenhaver 1985; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001), what has been discussed in an
earlier section about managing networks is largely applicable to emergent networks
in disaster response.
The specific challenges involved in the coordination of resources and tasks in
response to disasters are well documented in the literature (e.g. Comfort 2002;
Drabek 2003; Fischer 1998; Granot 1999; Kreps 1983; McEntire 2002; Perry and
Lindell, 2003; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001). For the present purposes, it is
sufficient to note that there are two types of demands in disaster situations, agent-
generated demands and response-generated demands (Dynes 1994; Quarantelli
1997). While many of the challenges at the locale of a disastersuch as disrupted
communicationsstem from the effects of the physical agents, other challenges arise
from the response to the disaster (Dynes 1994; Quarantelli 1997). For example, the
convergence of organizations and unaffiliated volunteers on the disaster area and
interagency conflict due to lack of domain clarity are examples of response-
generated challenges.
Before discussing the scholarly literature on this topic, it is useful to begin by
introducing the official strategies for the coordination of disaster response that have
been promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security.

NIMS and ICS. In February 2003, President George W. Bush issued
Homeland Security Directive 5 (HSPD-5), directing the Secretary of Homeland
Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System (NIMS).
It also directed that all federal departments and agencies adopt NIMS for use in
domestic incident management, and emergency prevention, preparedness, response,
recovery, and mitigation activities, as well as those actions taken in support of State
or local entities (President 2003, Sec. 18). Furthermore, as noted in chapter 1, it
included provisions that required compliance by other levels of government in order
to receive federal funding for emergency preparedness. Since most (if not all) state,
county, and municipal emergency management agencies receive, or seek to receive,
some federal funding for preparedness, this directive amounted to a mandate to
implement NIMS in state and local jurisdictions nationwide.
In March 2004, the Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge announced
the actual establishment of NIMS. A key feature of NIMS is the Incident Command
System (ICS). ICS was developed in California by the fire service in the 1970s as
the command system for wildland firefighting. Such fires typically require response
from multiple jurisdictions and, often, multiple levels of government. The ICS was
developed to provide a standard way to integrate and direct resources. Because of its
successful use by the fire service, ICS was taught as a model for general emergency
management for many years before HSPD-5 was issued. It has been adopted by
NIMS for use in all types of incidents.

ICS uses a modular organizational structure that can be expanded or
contracted as needed, but the basic structure and the associated processes are
intended to be used regardless of the size or other characteristics of the incident. ICS
is officially defined as the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel,
procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational
structure, designed to aid in domestic incident management activities (U. S.
Department of Homeland Security 2004a, 63). The basic structural elements consist
of incident command and four sections: operations, planning, logistics, and finance
and administration, as shown in figure 2.1.
Opaerattons Ftaraahsg Us-gpstfcs fteawqa/
Source: U. S. Department of Homeland Security 2004a, 65.
Figure 2.1 Basic Structural Elements of ICS
The structure of ICS follows that of a traditional formal organization with
divisions of labor, responsibility, and power. Command has overall responsibility
for the incident and sets incident objectives, strategies, and priorities. An incident
may have a single commander, or the function may be shared by two or more
jurisdictional or organizational commanders, in which case it is called unified
command. Operations is responsible for tactical operations to carry out the plan.

Planning is responsible for collecting and evaluating information, preparing the
incident action plan, tracking the status of resources, and maintaining documentation.
Logistics provides or arranges for support, resources, and services needed to support
the operational objectives. Finance and Administration provides accounting,
procurement, time recording, and cost analyses. The organization may be simple or
complex depending on the size and needs of a particular incident. In almost any
incident, Operations will be the largest section and have the most complex
organization beneath it. The ICS structure can be expanded or contracted depending
on the size and the specific needs of a particular incident. It is common for the
command staffthat is, the staff of the incident commanderto include a public
information office, a safety officer, and a liaison officer, who is the point of contact
for cooperating agencies.
A key principle articulated in ICS training materials is that the framework is
flexible and can be used for any type of emergency incident. Another principle is
that organizational structures, processes, and procedures are standardized. The
objective of standardization is that, through training, properly credentialed personnel
can be brought together to fill roles in an incident who know how to function in their
assigned roles, understand the roles of others, share common terminology, and
consistently implement standard processes and follow standard procedures. Standard
training is intended to facilitate the integration of resources in an incident, eliminate
confusion and conflict, and make it possible for jurisdictions to assist others or make

effective use of assistance themselves. An important concept in ICS is unity of
command, which means simply that each individual reports to one and only one
ICS utilizes management by objectives (MBO). Key features of MBO
generally that are utilized in ICS processes and procedures include involving
multiple individuals and groups in establishing goals and objectives, setting specific
objectives to be accomplished within a given time, developing plans for
accomplishing results, allocating resources, tracking progress, evaluating results, and
making adjustments to plans and operations as needed (Rosenbloom 1998, 179; U. S.
Department of Homeland Security 2004a).
ICS training emphasizes open communication. In this, it departs from the
scalar principle, by which communication as well as authority follows the chain of
command (Fayol 1996). Communication is facilitated through frequent short
meetings and briefings, although informal communication is encouraged as well.
Elapsing time during an incident is divided into operational periods.
Depending on how quickly conditions change or how frequently plans must be
modified, operational periods may be only a few hours duration, or a day or longer.
Plans are developed and implemented for each operational period, setting forth the
objectives for that period and the resources needed to achieve them. In a typical
planning meeting at the start of an operational period, both the progress on objectives
set for the previous operational period and the action plan for the new operational

period are discussed. The planning meeting is typically followed by operational
Applicability ofNIMS and ICS. From what has already been discussed on the
differences between networks and bureaucracies, it is not surprising that many
disaster scholars question the use of bureaucratic command-and-control systems to
coordinate emergent multiorganizational networks responding to disasters. Many
disaster scholars question whether command-and control structures and processes
can be effective in the unstable and unpredictable environment of disasters (Comfort
2002; Drabek 2003; Drabek and McEntire 2003; Dynes 1994; Harrald 2006; Kettl
2004; Neal and Phillips 1995; Quarantelli 1997; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001;
Waugh and Streib 2006; Wenger, Quarantelli, and Dynes 1990).
Some scholars argue that the assumptions of command-and-control models
are faulty because they do not reflect actual behavior in disasters. Specifically, they
point to the assumptions that the civilian population needs to be controlled and that
emergent behavior is dysfunctional, in spite of consistent evidence that rational, pro-
social behavior dominates in the immediate aftermath of disasters (Drabek and
McEntire 2002; Quarantelli 1997; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001; Wenger,
Quarantelli, and Dynes 1990). In addition, researchers note that the assumptions of
some command-and-control models that government agencies are the only
responders, or the only responders that are needed, are patently incorrect. Disaster
research has shown that government agencies do not have all the resources needed

(Comfort 2002, 2005; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001; Waugh and Streib 2006;
Weber, McEntire, and Robinson 2002; Zakour 1996) and has consistently
documented convergence and emergence (Drabek and McEntire 2002; Dynes 1970;
Perry and Lindell 2003; Tierney, Lindell, and Perry 2001; Wenger and James 1994).
Finally, the assumption that centralized decision making through bureaucratic
structures is required is also challenged by researchers, with many arguing that the
multiorganizational environment requires a different approach to decision making
(Drabek and McEntire 2002; Quarantelli 1997; Waugh and Streib 2006). It should
be noted that emergency operations centers may have different environments from
command posts of field operations, with the former perhaps being more collaborative
and the latter more reliant on authority structures.
While scholars recognize that quick and authoritative decision making is
necessary in disaster response (Quarantelli 1997; Kiefer and Montjoy 2006; Waugh
and Streib 2006), there is disagreement on the best structure for doing so. Kiefer and
Montjoy (2006) argue that decision making in networks tends to be slow. They take
the position that networks are necessary in disaster management, but they are rarely
sufficient (129) and argue for the necessity of a central agency that coordinates and
supports network operations. On the other hand, Waugh and Streib (2006) observe
that, in rapidly changing circumstances, hierarchical decisions processes may be
slow and inflexible. Good information is required for good decisions, and (as was
noted earlier in this chapter) high volumes of information can overload the upper

levels of a bureaucratic structure and cause communication failures (Comfort 2005;
Dodds, Watts, and Sabel 2003; Iannello 1992).
In their research on ICS in a fire department, Bigley and Roberts (2001)
found evidence of decentralized decision making based on expertise rather than
formal authority. Respondents reported that decision making may migrate quickly
from those with formal authority to individuals with specific expertise. This is
consistent with theory and research on network organizations discussed earlier.
An additional criticism of command-and-control models is that they do not
take into account other organizational and community plans or authority
relationships, and that ICS, in particular, is poor at integrating many relief agencies,
other non-profit organizations, and volunteers outside of the first responder
community (Buck, Trainor, and Aquirre 2006; Harrald 2006; Drabek and McEntire
2002; Moynihan 2007; Quarantelli 1997; Wenger, Quarantelli, and Dynes 1990).
Waugh and Streib (2006) stress the importance of collaboration in emergency
management at all phases of disasters but note that disasters and fear of disasters
also generate a strong desire for hierarchysomebody to take charge, or possibly
someone to be held accountable (138). This desire for someone to be in charge may
be considered misplaced by some disaster researchers (Quarantelli 1997), but the
desire for authoritative leadership arises persistently in the aftermath of disasters
(Kettl 2003; Waugh and Streib 2006).

Harrald (2006) argues that the idea of imposing centralized control is at odds
with the variety of activities and the emergence of decentralized decision-making
that researchers have documented in disasters. He suggests that the MMS emphasis
on structure and process may have hindered agile and imaginative response
following Hurricane Katrina. Certainly many examples support that view,
volunteer medical personnel were turned away because they lacked the proper
credentials; evacuation by air proceeded very slowly because FEMA had to locate
federal air marshals to ride the planes; emergency rations that were in metal
containers were confiscated because someone thought they might contain explosives
(Perrow 2006). In another example, scientists from the U. S. Geological Survey,
together with personnel from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and Ducks
Unlimited rescued more than 250 people before having to suspend activities when
the U. S. military canceled all civilian operations (USGS 2005). Later the military
reconsidered and these organizations resumed activities, but two days (and possibly
lives) had been lost.
While seeing the lack of agility and imagination as weaknesses, Harrald
(2006) sees the structure and discipline of ICS as a strength. He does not see these
two different facets as two ends of a continuum, but, rather, as orthogonal
dimensions. Harrald (2006, 267-268) presents a fourfold typology of organizations

based on the two dimensions and labels the resulting types dysfunctional (low on
discipline and agility), bureaucratic/procedural (high on discipline, low on agility,
ad hoc/reactive (low on discipline, high on agility), and balanced/adaptive (high
on discipline and agility). Harrald sees the balanced/adaptive organization as being
able to mobilize and manage large, complex organizations, able to change rapidly,
and able to adjust to other organizations. He notes that this requires leaders who are
innovative as well as technically competent.
Buck, Trainor, and Aquirre (2006) suggest that command-and-control
approaches and coordinative management styles are complementary, with ICS being
useful for the organization and accomplishment of predictable tasks by formal
agencies and coordinative systems useful for integrating multiple perspectives and
dealing with disagreement. They take the position that the deficiencies of ICS for
trained responders are related to inadequate implementation rather than inherent
problems with the model. They think it is possible that the widespread adoption of
ICS would create the cultural and social processes required for effective multi
jurisdictional response (21).
Certainly there are examples of the successful use of ICS for complex
incidents other than wildland fires including the response to the Pentagon on 9-11
(Kettl 2003; 2006) and the coordination of the space shuttle Columbia recovery
operation after the vehicle disintegrated over Texas during reentry in 2003 (Donahue

2006). Both of these involved more than one level of government, resources from
more than one jurisdiction, and employed a unified command.
In the case of the Pentagon response, the Arlington County Fire Department
retained a command role for the frill ten days of the search and rescue operation
before turning the scene over to the FBI (Titan Systems Corporation 2002) Kettl
(2006, 17) calls the response to the Pentagon on 9-11 a well-choreographed
interorganizational response and attributes the success to two factors: they began
with a sense of the problems they were likely to confront and they envisioned a
collaborative response as the best solution. Arlington County Fire Department had
engaged in inter-agency planning and training, and many of the key personnel at the
Pentagon incident knew each other (Titan Systems 2002).
Donahue (2006) describes the successful use of a unified command to
coordinate the Columbia recovery operation, which involved over 450 federal, state,
and local government agencies, private companies, and non-profit organizations,
most of which had not worked together before, and many of which had no
experience with incident command procedures. There were some agencies had
engaged in common planning and training and, thus, had already developed trust.
Overall, she attributes the success to the high level of cohesion among participants,
shared goals, systematic planning, and flexibility that focused on problem solving
instead of rules. Donahue (2006, 142), characterizes large incidents as sudden,
idiosyncratic, and dynamic, requiring managers to understand problems and devise

solutions in real time. Therefore, she recommends flexible guidelines rather than
rigid rules. The fact that this incident involved organizations that are outside the first
responder community and had no experience with ICS presents a challenge to the
argument that ICS cannot work well outside beyond the trained-responder
It spite of examples of successful use of ICS in complex incidents, it seems
unlikely that the adoption of ICS, in and of itself, will produce effective multi-
jurisdictional response. ICS is a form of temporary or contingent bureaucracy and,
as other bureaucracies, is likely susceptible to the tendency for the rules and
procedures to become ends in themselves. But it appears that it is a framework that
can be used to manage an effective response. However, success may depend on the
cultures of the organizations involved (eg., flexible versus rigid or collaborative
versus strictly hierarchical), as well as the skills and attitudes of individual managers.
The voices of scholars who have been critical of command-and-control
models have not gone unheard in the practitioner community. In recent years
collaboration and cooperation have become a focus of FEMA training programs
(Waugh and Streib 2006). FEMA courses, such as the Social Dimensions of
Disasters (Drabek 2004), contribute to dispelling some of the myths about disaster
behavior, and ICS training courses stress collaboration and open communication as
well as unity of command and ICS processes.

Drabek and McEntire (2003) note that practitioners favor command-and-
control models for coordinating disaster response. However, as we shall see in the
next section, what emergency managers do in practice to achieve success may be
different from what command-and-control models would indicate, or what classic
management theory would suggest.
Additional theory and research on coordination of disaster response. Past
research on coordination has identified several broad approaches that contribute to
success in disaster response, including planning and preparedness, effective
leadership, a functional emergency operations center, adaptable interorganizational
structures, and contact, cooperation, and communication (Drabek and McEntire
2002). Since Drabek (1983) first identified emergent multiorganizational networks
as a different type of organization requiring different coordination strategies, the
coordination and functioning of emergent multiorganizational networks in disasters
have received considerable attention (e g., Comfort 2002, 2005; Drabek 2003;
Drabek and McEntire 2002; Harrald 2006; McEntire 2002).
In his study of the response to a tornado in Fort Worth, Texas, McEntire
(2002) found the following specific factors contributed to the coordination of the
response: supportive political leadership; preparation for disaster, networking and
cooperation among key players in emergency management; experience from
previous incidents; communications technology; the emergency operations center
and its management; and daily planning meetings. While some of these, such as

planning, emergency operations centers, communications technology, and daily
planning meetings may be replicated straightforwardly, supportive political
leadership and previous experience may be idiosyncratic. McEntire (2002, 377)
observed that the key players had high levels of respect for each others
professional responsibilities, but also were familiar with each others personal
lives. Certainly, emergency managements can strive to develop working
relationships and social capital through joint training and other cooperative
undertakings, and can even encourage the development of experience through
assisting other jurisdictions. However, when personnel with standardized training
are used interchangeably across jurisdictions and, thus, outside of local networks (as
envisioned by NIMS and ICS), only the social capital associated with positions and
organizations is available as a resource to facilitate cooperation, a least initially.
In a different vein, Comfort (2002, 2005) has focused attention on access to
information as the key to successful integration of multiple organizations in response
to terrorist attacks. She notes (2002, 30) that [rjeliable performance of information
functions under stress is a critical factor in achieving coordination among a large and
varied group of actors engaged in crisis response. Comfort has identified three sets
of conditions that affect the interaction of agents involved in the response: the
technical structure for information search and exchange; the organizational policies
and procedures within and among the participating organizations; and the cultural

openness to new information, new strategies for addressing an unimaginable set of
problems; and willingness to adapt to extraordinarily difficult conditions (30).
From these three sets of conditions Comfort (2002) has constructed a
conceptual model with four types of complex adaptive systems in disaster response.
Non-adaptive systems (low on technical structure, organizational flexibility, and
cultural openness, to new information) and emergent-adaptive systems (low on
technical structure and medium on organizational flexibility and cultural openness)
develop modes of organization and action during disaster operations but are not able
to sustain collective action after the crisis has passed. Operative-adaptive systems
are medium on all three dimensions and function well but cannot move into new
modes of operation easily. Auto-adaptive systems, when they can be achieved, are
high on all three dimensions and are characterized by mutual adjustment among
organizations in a network based on shared understanding of shared goals and the
respective organizations capacities and vulnerabilities. Auto-adaptive systems are
not only able to respond to the immediate crisis but to translate experience from a
crisis situation to a sustained effort to reduce threat or risk. Comforts typology
(2002) directs attention to the flaws of hierarchical control systems and suggests
auto-adaptation as an alternative model to strive for, with interacting units, each
performing at its own rate, but adjusting performance to that of its near-neighbors in
response to incoming information from the environment (48).

Using a simulation platform, Comfort, Ko, and Zagorecki (2004) examined
the effects of demand and capacity on response systems. The simulation suggests
that when a spatial disaster area is divided into multiple jurisdictions, the efficiency
of response activities increases and that smaller jurisdictions that operate somewhat
independently are more effective in managing recovery efforts than a centralized
authority. The exchange of core information is identified as influencing the
efficiency of the response. The authors stress the importance of key actors through
which core information is exchanged.
Drabek (2003) conducted detailed studies of strategies used to coordinate
emergent multiorganizational networks in actual disasters in ten communities, and
surveyed fifty-two communities in less detail. He documented five broad categories
of strategies and twenty-six specific ones and concluded that emergency managers
who used the largest number of coordination strategies guided the most effective
responses. Control strategies were used by all the emergency managers in his study,
but managers who were most successful did not micro-manage. Rather, they
engaged in activities such as identifying problems, obtaining commitments, and
identifying where additional resources were needed. They also made appeals to prior
legitimacy, referred to planning documents and prior experience, and implemented
mutual-aid agreements. Some of the control strategies Drabek identified, such as the
use of self-managed work teams, emergent collaborative planning, and emergent
community-government partnerships, are not associated with command-and-control

structures. Based on his findings, Drabek (2003) concluded that local emergency
managers use strategies similar to those of network coordinators in other settings.
Drabeks work shows what Kettl (2003, 2006) and Donahue have observed (2006)
that the use of command-and-control models does not necessarily exclude other
coordination strategies. Effective coordination may require blending many different
Improvisation. Many researchers argue that improvisation is inevitable in
complex disaster situations, and, in fact, successful improvisation is often noted in
disasters. Kendra and Wachtendorf (2003) even argue that an event that can be
managed with routine procedures and does not require improvisation is precluded
from the definition of a disaster. The need for improvisation may arise for a variety
of reasons including contingencies that are not anticipated by plans, complexity that
requires organizations to combine plans in new ways, information deficits, and the
unavailability of planned-for resources (Mendonga and Wallace 2004). As used in
common speech, improvisation means creating something out of what is available
utilizing existing skills and knowledge. In disaster response, both planning and prior
experience are important forms of knowledge. Kendra and Wachtendorf (2003)
argue that effective improvisation in disaster response requires that creativity build
on planning and preparedness. For example, when the City of New York lost its
Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the World Trade Center on 9-11, an
alternative EOC was improvised quicklyeven though there was no specific plan

for a back-up facilitybecause of prior experience with the equipment and other
requirements of an EOC (Kendra and Wachtendorf 2003).
While some improvisation may be inevitable, Drabek (2003) found that more
effective disaster responses exhibited lower levels of improvisation. In the responses
he studied, improvisation occurred most often where there was the least consensus
about domain, the lowest frequency of training exercises or prior responses, and the
lowest frequency of interagency contact. However, the disasters included in
Drabeks research were on a much smaller scale than Katrina and the flooding of
New Orleans.
Bigley and Roberts (2001) offer an important distinction between
improvisation and freelancing. They found that improvisation was considered
legitimate by the fire department whose ICS implementation they studied, as long as
it fit with the organizational goals and was not likely to cause harm. Freelancing,
however, was behavior not directed at, or supportive of, ICS goals, objectives, and
approaches at a particular incident (1289). Such behavior was considered
illegitimate and was discouraged.
The poor overall response following Katrina provided a dramatic example of
inadequate planning and poor interagency contact that prompted a great deal of
improvisationor freelancing, depending on ones perspectiveby both official and
non-official responders. In one of the most egregious examples, a wide variety of
government agencies and non-governmental organizations improvised rescue in New