discussion 465

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Do you believe that it is possible to effectively lead a single federal government department such as DHS, with over 220,000 employees, or does its existence combine too many functions under a single organizational mission? Explain your answer and cite a source or sources in support of your position.

This assignment is graded

  • Post to Week 3 Discussion Board
  • Initial post is due Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Reply post(s) due Sunday at 11:59 p.m. ET
  • Your posts should be of substance, at least two paragraphs that address the topic
  • Cite any outside sources used; it is not necessary to cite the course textbook
  • Discussion board grading rubric

reply to Leroy:

Large departments and organizations are built on the concept of combing multiple faucets of business under one roof. If everyone had the same type of job, there would be no reason for organizations to become so large. In the case of DHS, I absolutely believe that it is possible to effectively lead a government agency of that size, albeit very difficult. Because there are SO many different organizations combined into one, a hierarchical organizational structure is an absolute must. They already operate in this manner, since every department has its own “boss” and they all report, in some form or fashion, to the Secretary of Homeland Security. What also helps an organization of the size stay afloat is the fact that multiple individual departments continue to get some sort of budget increase. Since FY 2004 until FY 2017, FEMA saw an increase in their budget from $5.6 billion to almost $17 billion, as well as budget increases for the USCG and USSS (Bullock, Haddow, & Coppola, 2018, p. 73, 75). This helps establish to those departments that efforts are being made to keep the scales balanced and not make it seem as though one department is that much more important than the other.

These tactics of leadership would also prevent issues that arose from the 1990’s WTC bombings; no definitive line of power and responsibility was drawn to prevent fighting amongst separate organizations. So long as the “red tape” is followed and maintained, functionality will always be at an optimum level. Be that as it may, the reason as to why it can be difficult is exactly what makes it tick, the bureaucracy. “Increased bureaucracy often hinders an organization’s speed to change” (Flat vs. Hierarchical Organizational Structure, 2018). Reluctance to change would make managing a department as large as DHS very difficult, but again I believe it is possible.


Bullock, J., Haddow, G. & Coppola, D. (2018). Homeland Security: the essentials. Butterworth-Heinemann

Meehan, C. (2018). Flat vs. hierarchical organizational structure. Retrieved on 23 January 2018 from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/flat-vs-hierarchica…

Reply to Grayson:

So this isn’t a new concept in terms of having one agency or department manage multiple other agencies, in terms of DHS the agencies it is responsible for are for the most part autonomous. My experience with being a Coast Guardsmen our Commandant Admiral Zukunft manages the Coast Guard how he wants, he creates policies and procedures as he sees fit for the organization. So essentially all the DHS does is serve as oversight and also if there is something the DHS needs the CG for then there are several communications hubs that can coordinate whatever the response need be. The other important aspect to this is to understand that the DHS is not micromanaging each agency and what they do, they are serving as the nexus or nucleus for overall operation. There is an established briefing matrix for events from local units within an agency with go all the way to the Secretary as well as the President depending on the emerging situation.

A good proof of concept for the question of whether this is a feasible endeavor is to compare the Secretary of Homeland Security is the Secretary of Defense, both lead departments which manage multi agency and military aspects.The DOD also manages “More than 450,000 employees are overseas, both afloat and ashore.” (defense.gov/ Our Global Infrastructure). Both agencies have coordination and communications responsibilities when it comes to emergent situations. While the DHS is more focused in the United States and the DOD is focused abroad i feel it is important to note the similarities, and that one agency can effectively govern multiple agencies and prove effective at mission execution. So while it is clear the DHS and DOD differ in mission sets since the DOD predates the DHS i think that during the formative years of the DHS the leaders and decision makers were able to refer to the structure and management principles utilized by the DOD and apply them to the DHS.


Bullock, J., Haddow, G. & Coppola, D. (2018). Homeland Security: the essentials. Butterworth-Heinemann

Our Global Infrastructure. (n.d.). Retrieved January 23, 2018, from https://www.defense.gov/About/DoD-101/#Top


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