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Chaos organization and disaster management

Chaos Organization and Disaster Management
Chaos organization and disaster management is a book that represents developing concepts and results from an extensive survey research carried out in Israel. The book scrutinizes the disaster behaviors of the Israelis, since the Gulf War and beyond the social structures, which hold back the response to disaster and the performance of disaster management organizations. The book also discloses the gap that exists between the organizational perception of disaster and the victim, and demonstrates the influence the wider community play in disaster survival (Kirschenbaum 123).
At first, Kirschenbaum’s writing is not easy to grasp. As the title suggests, this book could be seen as a piece of academic writing with little gain for security practitioners. However, readers who are enduring will find out that Kirschenbaum’s ideas can challenge even the highly knowledgeable disaster management practitioners (Kirschenbaum 231). This means that, there would be a lost chance to learn from a writer full of experience from his home of Israel and somewhere else. This book’s analysis of disaster management, to say the least, is a revelation and provides practical advice too. I therefore, recommend people to read this textbook because I greatly believe that it is worthy read.
The opening chapters clearly set the scene. They consider organizational models and the influence of various management approaches. Kirschenbaum further maintains that, when it comes to disaster planning and management, public image, and political expediency may perhaps take priority over professionals’ better judgment. As we see, Kirschenbaum will make readers to question their own choices and motivations (Kirschenbaum 259). Bearing that in mind, he guides readers on a path of constant examination, probing the considerations of different stakeholders, the bureaucratic inertia that may quickly subsume disaster management, and the superfluity constraints on effectual disaster management.
Kirschenbaum starts by mentioning that, there has generally been very little criticism of disaster management systems amongst all that which has been written about disaster. He questions whether improved disaster management agencies will lead to better services, less damage and fewer deaths citing an example of the new Department of Homeland Security in the United States of America. It turns to be so ironic that the recent events, following Hurricane Katrina, should give so much weight to his argument (Kirschenbaum 301).
Kirschenbaum attempts to articulate what can be described as an incredibly different and radical approach to disaster management. He presents a different option to the current acceptance of the way disasters are responded to and managed. He further suggests that there are fundamental faults within disaster management agencies themselves (Kirschenbaum 188). His research explains that the core guidelines and concepts used by these agencies are not compatible with those of their consumers. Furthermore, he put it forward that, in essence, these agencies take priority for their survival as organizations over the survival of disaster victims. His substitute, which he refers to as “ a modest proposal”, is possibly the most debatable notion that he articulates.
Kirschenbaum insists that, in case the responsibility for recovery and response is given to private sector, then the management of disasters will be more victim-centered. His research illustrates that, a third of Israelis would be ready to pay when offered such services. Suggesting privatization of disaster management structures and organizations will be perceived by many as heterodoxy, not least amongst those professionals and organizations who have responded to the cases in the Indian Ocean, the disaster in the United States, or the bombings in London. Nevertheless, he does not suggest that we ‘simply allow chaos prevail by presuming that the private market will be in charge of everything’, but, instead, private sector organizations could offer some disaster services that are compatible with the needs of clients, thus increasing survival chances-unlike the public sector disaster management agencies (Kirschenbaum 219).
In his book, Kirschenbaum describes his social procedure model as a theoretical model that provides “ crucial ideas for practical applications” (Kirschenbaum 176). He suggests that the ability to predict disaster behavior results to better informed survival options, a notion already adopted by Turner in 1978. Likewise, some writings on organizational crisis management, especially, the one by Mitroff and Pauchant (1990), may have provided some caution for the privatization dispute concerning community choice. The concepts of denial “ it is never going to happen to us” and environment “ someone else will rescue us” could well be included in how communities may choose their disaster services. However, this is not to suggest that disaster agencies have it right, far from it, but simply to indicate that there are several other sides of this coin that call for consideration before privatization can actually be thought of as a choice.
The major thing that distinguishes this book from others in the same genre is that its timing was perfect. The book came at the most appropriate time to address the staggering impacts of Boxing Day 2004 and August 2005 disasters. The information it contains was desperately needed so as to convey a greater understanding of the behavior of both people and organizations during disasters and hence help reduce damages and fatalities (Kirschenbaum 312).
From the foregoing, Kirschenbaum’s book is remarkably important in gaining understanding of disaster management and as such, people, especially those active in disaster management, should read it. In a review carried out by Eve Coles, she highly recommends people to read it though she states that it is somehow radical in nature.
Kirschenbaum, Alan. Chaos Organization and Disaster Management. New York: CRC Press, 2003. Print.

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