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Manager Vs Leader

Essay by   •  November 14, 2010  •  858 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,538 Views

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Introduction

The decision by the Bush administration not to send aid or military troops on the ground immediately after Hurricane Katrina was a fatal and catastrophe mistake. The indecision by the administration caused chaos and gave the world a clear picture that even after 9/11, the United States is still inadequately prepared for natural catastrophes of any kind let alone a terrorist attack. It also offered the world a glimpse into American society that the world had never seen or even knew existed. The disheartening images of mostly poor, mostly black evacuees waiting for food and shelter in seemingly unending lines or stranded atop rooftops awaiting military rescues exposed the world to a picture of real inner city America. The pictures broadcast to the world seemed like they were taken in a third world nation in Africa rather than a modern American city. The reason it took Fema and the Bush administration so long to respond to hurricane Katrina victims is because the overwhelming majority of the victims were of African American descent, poor and were considered a burden on society. My paper will explain that the faulty decisions made by the Bush administration and FEMA during the aftermath of hurricane Katrina can be attributed to ineffective decision-making and cognitive bias.

Summary

The Bush administration suffered from the affect heuristic during the time period leading up to hurricane Katrina. They were given an advantage of knowing what the outcome of the hurricane would be when it was upgraded to a category four.

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They also had the advantage of experts saying New Orleans could be flooded because the breach of the levees protecting New Orleans has been a serious issue for years, and was prominently discussed not only during last year's string of hurricanes, but most recently throughout Katrina's approach. During this time the administration was preoccupied with Supreme Court judge nominations and indictments that were to be handed down on high republican ranking officials. There was a clear preoccupation with other things during this week that caused a breakdown in the decision making process in regards to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The reasons I give the affect heuristic as an example is because it states that affect heuristics are usually judgments made based on affective, emotional evaluation that occurs even before cognitive reasoning takes place." (Slovic, Finucane, Peters, McGregor 2002)

The administration did not process or even take the time to evaluate what was happening in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Proof of this was when the FEMA director went on national television and informed the media that he had no knowledge of evacuees being in the downtown convention center. Had the administration framed the problem in a more positive fashion and had they used a rational decision-making process to handle the aftermath of the hurricane, there may very well have been different results in the aftermath. There did not appear to be any rational decision making process in place after the hurricane or before the hurricane hit the Gulf coast region. There seem to have been a "let's wait and see" type mentality that existed. The delay in the tapping of troops, helicopters, trucks, generators, communications

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