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Ports in a Storm

Ports in a Storm: Public Management in a Turbulent World

John D. Donahue
Mark H. Moore
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 219
  • Book Info
    Ports in a Storm
    Book Description:

    InPorts in a Storma team of Harvard Kennedy School scholars focus diverse conceptual lenses on a single high-stakes management task -enhancing port security across the United States. Their aims are two: to understand how a public manager might confront that complex undertaking, and to explore the similarities, differences, and complementarities of their alternative approaches to public management.

    The book takes as its pivot point the singular case of U.S. Coast Guard Captain Suzanne Englebert and her leadership of efforts to secure America's ports after the September 11 attacks. The Coast Guard had always been responsible for securing America's ports and coastline. But now it was tasked with safeguarding these critical, complex, and vulnerable assets during a time of war, a job it clearly could not handle alone.

    Ports in a Stormconsiders the monumental challenge of driving rapid change in a complex system involving hundreds of private organizations and scores of government agencies with their operations intricately intertwined. The book examines Englebert's actions from varied conceptual vantage points, sometimes critiquing questionable calls but more often celebrating her initiative, creativity, persistence, and skill.

    The authors use the Coast Guard episode as a testing ground for the eclectic intellectual constructs they have been developing to guide public managers. Instead of starting with theory and searching for examples that fit, they begin with the concrete and then harness scholarship to the service of better practice. And rather than mimic management principles from the business world, they tailor their approach to the very different challenges of managing in a public sector context. The volume allows readers in both the scholarly and practical worlds to see how the theories measure up.

    Contributors, including the two volume editors, are Robert D. Behn, John D. Donahue, Archon Fung, Stephen Goldsmith, Elaine Kamarck, Herman B. Leonard, Mark H. Moore, Malcolm K. Sparrow, Pamela Varley, and Richard Zeckhauser.

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-2238-0
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 Introduction: On Management and Metaphor
    (pp. 1-13)

    Metaphors shape and constrain our thinking. We navigate our symbol-ridden, abstraction-drenched civilization using a brain that evolved to escort our ancestors through a bluntly concrete world. The human mind, doing the best it can in a job to which it’s not entirely suited, “couches abstract concepts in concrete terms,” as the cognitive scientist Steven Pinker puts it. Thirty-five thousand years ago a Cro-Magnon would have used the equivalent of the word went to describe the trajectory of a child toddling from her mother to her father. The modern sentence, The traveler went from Istanbul to Paris, is pretty much the...

  5. 2 Sea Change: Rewriting the Rules for Port Security
    (pp. 14-24)

    On the morning of September 11, 2001, Coast Guard Commandant James Loy and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta quietly faced a critical national security choice. Terrorists had just hijacked and crashed two commercial jets into the World Trade Center towers and one into the Pentagon. Mineta had grounded all aircraft, marking the first shutdown of commercial aviation in U.S. history. With the scope of the attack still uncertain, should Loy and Mineta also close the nation’s seaports?

    There was no specific reason to suspect an imminent port attack by al-Qaeda, the Islamic extremist group suspected of orchestrating the jet attacks, but...

  6. 3 Unraveling a Risk-Management Challenge
    (pp. 25-54)

    In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks new measures were implemented to reduce risks to commercial aviation. Congress also demanded assurance that the nation’s seaports would be adequately protected, mindful that an attack or serious accident at a major port could result in loss of vital infrastructure and potentially serious economic damage through the disruption of international trade.

    U.S. Coast Guard executives knew that commercial shipping was already regulated by a range of government entities—including Customs, Immigration, Agriculture, and the Food and Drug Administration—each of which addressed different categories of risk; but they immediately recognized their own...

  7. 4 PortStat: How the Coast Guard Could Use the PerformanceStat Leadership Strategy to Improve Port Security
    (pp. 55-83)

    In 1994 the New York City Police Department, under the leadership of Commissioner William Bratton and Deputy Commissioner Jack Maple, created CompStat, the NYPD’s leadership strategy for reducing crime in the city by improving the performance of the department’s seventy-six precincts. Since then, numerous police departments have created their own versions of CompStat. Moreover, a variety of other public agencies have adapted the CompStat leadership strategy to improve their own performance. In New York City these include JobStat and ChildStat; elsewhere, they have names such as KidStat and SchoolStat. Moreover, a number of governmental jurisdictions have adapted the strategy to...

  8. 5 Pursuing Public Value: Frameworks for Strategic Analysis and Action
    (pp. 84-115)

    For many years now, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government has introduced public managers to a particular framework designed to help them manage “strategically” in government.¹ By strategic management we mean something very simple but very important: the cognitive capacity to figure out what is worth doing and how that particular value proposition might be achieved in the particular circumstances a manager confronts. The core idea is straightforward: in order for a contemplated initiative to be worth a manager’s time, that initiative must incorporate three elements. It has to be

    —publicly valuable,

    —socially legitimate, politically authorizable, financially sustainable,...

  9. 6 The Tummler’s Task: A Collaborative Conception of Port Protection
    (pp. 116-132)

    Let’s start with a scene from the past: Some of the guests on this first day of vacation—the big family groups, the veterans of previous seasons, and a few gregarious newcomers—are already hard at play right after breakfast. Some are on the tennis courts, others cautiously trying to revive horsebackriding skills, others playing the games clustered about the main house, and some just luxuriating in wide-slatted whitewashed chairs. As the sun clears the Catskill ridge and floods the whole resort, all of the right sounds—happy shrieks as old friends reunite, the clatter and clang of disks and...

  10. 7 Toward a Higher Purpose: Captain Englebert Navigates the Choppy Waters of Network Governance
    (pp. 133-158)

    The 9/11 terrorist attacks transformed American perceptions of the world. Until that time, Fortress America had been secure. No one needed to lie awake at night worrying about assaults from abroad. On one horrible morning, all that changed. Instead of being complacently secure, the country would have to be anxiously vigilant. Many wondered what they could or should do to restore the lost sense of security.

    Among those who felt most responsible for taking action were federal government agencies with security portfolios. After all, defending the nation from foreign attack was an undisputed core function of the federal government. President...

  11. 8 Improving Port Security: A Twenty-First-Century Government Approach
    (pp. 159-179)

    Twentieth-century government conducted its business largely through bureaucracies—the governmental and organizational equivalent of assembly lines. And for most of that time, in America and in other developed countries, the organizational structures of the private sector and the public sector were pretty much the same. Until late in the century the primitive nature or actual absence of information technology—especially large computers for storing and analyzing records and data—meant that many organizations, from the Social Security Administration to private insurance companies, spent much of their time collecting and organizing records. The employees of these large organizations consisted largely of...

  12. 9 Calling Publics into Existence: The Political Arts of Public Management
    (pp. 180-210)

    How best to integrate democratic politics into the management of public enterprises has been a central question in public administration for over a century.¹ On the one hand, all writers in the field recognize the critical importance of democratic political processes in legitimating state action—not only the state’s use of public authority in regulatory and enforcement activities but also its use of tax dollars to provide goods and services. On the other hand, the processes of democratic legitimation create significant problems for the efficient and effective management of government in both practical and philosophical terms.²

    At the practical level,...

  13. Index
    (pp. 211-219)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 220-220)