Measuring the Effectiveness of Disaster Management Organizations

March 2004 (VOL. 22, NO. 1)

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This study proposes introducing the ‘client-stakeholder’ as a partner in measuring public sector disaster management effectiveness. Combining multiple constituency and goal attainment theories, an analysis was made of Israel’s Home Front command. Combining responses of key managers in this disaster agency along with those of a representative national sample of Israel’s urban population, effectiveness was measured by matching stated organization goals against the perception of their provision by client-stakeholders. Goal perceptions were found to substantially differ from and focus on only a small number of officially stated goals. The results suggest that a disaster organization’s stated goals, upon which most measures of organizational effectiveness are based, are not necessarily those perceived or even used by its client-stakeholders to gauge effectiveness. In addition, factors contribution to these perceptions are not necessarily related to the organization or the services it provides. This stands in sharp contrast to traditional measures of organizational effectiveness based on internal performance measures and highlights the need to reevaluate the role of the client-stakeholder in measuring disaster management organizational effectiveness.