Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Crisis Management Policy and Hierarchical Networks

In crisis situations, good public management combines the virtues of networks and hierarchies. For most complex emergencies, no single organization can comprehensively meet the challenge, so a network becomes necessary. However, networks actors often cannot act quickly, collectively and decisively, so crisis management overlays a hierarchical structure on the network of actors involved. Network characteristics such as mutual trust remain important for a successful response to the crisis, but the actors operate within a clear chain of command that emphasizes authority and standard operating procedures.

Additional Info

  • Volume or issue no.: La Follette School Working Paper No. 2005-022
  • Author(s): Donald P. Moynihan