Case Study 2
These assignments are designed to provide you an opportunity to think about how you would handle specific public administration issues. There is no right or wrong answer for the assignments, per se. Your memo should have the following sections:
Major Factors in Development of Policy/Management Problem
Alternatives for Resolving the Problem
Authorâ€s Recommended Solution and Rationale
Lessons for Public Administration
Case Study #2: HKS 1843.0 (Hurricane Katrina: Preparing for â€œThe Big Oneâ€ in New Orleans)
This case tells the story of the lead-up to the storm, detailing the plans that officials would draw on to prepare for the hurricane’s onslaught, the steps that were taken to evacuate and shelter hundreds of thousands of residents in metropolitan New Orleans, and the communications among different agencies and levels of government as the storm drew near; it shows officials concerned about the effects of the hurricane, but confident that their preparations were commensurate with the challenges that Katrina would pose. The case asks readers to consider why local, state, and federal governments all proved unready to respond effectively to a catastrophic event which had been long predicted.
Since the attacks of September 11th, 2001 the government has shifted the focus of many agencies towards terrorism. The reorganization of many agencies into the newly formed Department of Homeland Security has changed the operational structure with which many have been accustomed. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security has asked you to form a work group to explain what some of the problems with DHSâ€s structure that were prevented it from helping Louisiana and the surrounding states prepare for hurricane Katrina.
Recommended questions to address or to consider:
What actions were taken by local, state and federal agencies to prepare for Katrina? Was DHS involved in these? Were they prevented from being involved?
How had FEMAâ€s role and resources changed since becoming part of DHS?
How could FEMA have been better able to assist in preparations?
What organizational changes in DHS and FEMA would allow for better preparation in the future?
Case Study Example
CASE STUDY MEMO # 1
From: <Name Omitted>
Date: September 6, 2015
Re: Case Study # 1: M, Columbiaâ€s Final Mission
Central Issue: Why wasnâ€t the tragedy of the Columbia prevented? This was the 3rd â€œgalvanizing eventâ€ as noted by Donahue and Oâ€Leary (2012) for NASA. A host of organizational failings, coupled with extreme external pressures, led to ineffective administration which costs the lives of seven astronauts and millions of dollars (a dwindling budget unsatisfactory to support proper protocol/design).
Some background: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was created in 1958 in response to compete with the Russian launching of Sputnik. In the 1970s, the focus of NASA shifted to the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) and the International Space Station Program (ISSP); the function of the former being to create a fleet of shuttles to transport materials and crew to the International Space Station. To this end, NASA maintained over 15 research, testing, and development centers across the US with multiple private sector contractors, e.g., Boeing, Lockheed Martin, etc. These two contractors formed the United Space Alliance whose job it was to meet the contractual obligations of the Space Flight Operations Contract of 1996, while providing oversight with shuttle contractors. Two prior galvanizing events suggest NASA did not learn from prior failuresâ€”an Apollo capsule incinerated on the launchpad killing three astronauts in 1967 and the Challenger disaster in 1986, killing seven astronauts; numerous other near misses had occurred intermittently (Bohmer, Edmondson, & Roberto, 2010).
The Columbia tragedy: In 2003, after a flight spanning 16 days…
Major Factors in the Development of Policy/Management Problem: Where to start with this one? The problem stemmed fromâ€¦
Alternatives for Resolving the Problem: Some alternatives to the scenario…
Recommended Solution and Rationale: In terms of recommendations, NASA needs to…
Lessons for Public Administration: Accountability is tantamount for a healthy, well-coordinated organized administrationâ€¦.
Bohmer, R. M., Edmondson, A.C., & Roberto, M.A. (2010). Columbiaâ€s final mission. Harvard Business School Publishing: Boston, MA.
Donahue, A.K., & Oâ€Keefe, S. (2007). Universal lessons from unique events: Perspectives from Columbia and Katrina, Public Administration Review, 67, 77-81.
Donahue, A.K., & Oâ€Leary, R. (2012). Do shocks change organizations? The case of NASA. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 22 (3). 395-425.
Kettl, D. F. (2015). Politics of the administrative process (6th Ed.). CQ Press: Thousand Oaks, CA.
McCurdy, H. E. (1992). NASAâ€s organizational culture. Public Administration Review, 52(2), 189-192.
NASA (2006). Space shuttle Columbia and her crew. Retrieved on September 2, 2015 from https://www.nasa.gov/columbia/crew/index.html
Shafritz, J.M., & Hyde, A.C. (2012). Classics of public administration (6th Ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA
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