Coordination in a Governmental Disaster Mega-organization

March 1995 (VOL. 13, NO. 1)

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Disasters, natural or technological, involve an interorganizational response that can take a structural form called the disaster mega-organization (DMO). The discussion will show how this concept is related to others in the field, and how the DMO coordination can be problematic, as illustrated by a PCB fire in Quebec, Canada. This case study also demonstrates that coordination is negotiated by those who must respond to a disaster. Finally, the mega-organization in a used-tire dump fire, also in Quebec, two years later, shows that there can be organizational learning and organizational changes in the DMO.