How to Write a Journal Article Review APA Style
Erica Sweeney, eHow Contributor
A journal article review is a common assignment in college and graduate school. Reviewing
journal articles is an important assignment on its own or as part of a much larger research paper.
Typically, instructors will give you guidelines on the type of journal articles to review and what
to include, but general APA journal article reviews will follow certain conventions. Articles
should be from peer-reviewed or scholarly journals and relate to the field of study that the class
1. Search the library’s online databases, such as EbscoHost and others, to find scholarly or peerreviewed
articles. You can also look in indexes available at the library.
2. Read the entire article. Many journal articles can be quite complex and use complicated
wording and statistics. You may need to read the article a few times before you get a full
grasp of it.
3. Write a citation for the journal article at the top of the review. The citation should follow the
American Psychological Association’s styleconsult the APA-style manual or the link under
Resources for citation information. You will need the title of the article, the journal where the
article is published, the volume and issue number, publication date, author’s name and page
numbers for the article.
4. Write a summary of the article. This should be one to three paragraphs, on the length of the
article. Include the purpose for the article, how research was conducted, the results and other
pertinent information from the article.
5. Discuss the meaning or implication of the results of the study that the article is about. This
should be one to two paragraphs. This is where you offer your opinion on the article. Discuss
any flaws with the article, how you think it could have been better and what you think it all
6. Write one paragraph discussing how the author could expand on the results, what the
information means in the big picture, what future research should focus on or how future
research could move the topic forward. Discuss how knowledge in the area could be
7. Cite any direct quotes or paraphrases from the article. Use the authors name, the year of
publication and the page number (for quotes) in the in-text citation.
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William L. Waugh Jr.
Georgia State University
Collaboration and Leadership for E?ective
William L. Waugh Jr. is a professor of
public administration, urban studies, and
political science in the Andrew Young
School of Policy Studies at Georgia State
Collaboration is a necessary foundation for dealing with
both natural and technological hazards and disasters
and the consequences of terrorism. This analysis describes
the structure of the American emergency management
system, the charts development of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, and identi?es con?icts arising from
the creation of the Department of Homeland Security
and the attempt to impose a command and control
system on a very collaborative organizational culture in
a very collaborative sociopolitical and legal context. The
importance of collaboration is stressed, and recommendations are o?ered on how to improve the amount and
value of collaborative activities. New leadership strategies
are recommended that derive their power from e?ective
strategies and the transformational power of a compelling vision, rather than from hierarchy, rank, or standard
Gregory Streib is a professor and chair of
the Department of Public Administration
and Urban Studies in the Andrew Young
School of Policy Studies at Georgia State
urricane Katrina revealed a national emergency management system in disarray, one
that was incapable of responding e?ectively
to the immediate needs of communities along the
Gulf Coast and unprepared to coordinate the massive
relief e?ort required to support recovery. Criticism
focused on the lack of leadership at all levels of government and the inability of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to mount a
disaster response and coordinate the relief. Unfortunately, critics have tended to view the emergency
management e?ort as synonymous with emergency
response. Emergency management is a broader set of
functions that go beyond search and rescue, emergency medical services, temporary shelter and feeding, and restoring lifelines. Emergency management
also includes (1) hazard mitigation to prevent or
lessen the impact of disaster, such as building levees
or moving people out of ?oodplains; (2) disaster
preparedness, such as emergency planning and training; (3) disaster response activities, such as conducting search and rescue activities; and (4) disaster
recovery, usually meaning the restoration of lifelines
and basic services.
A lack of understanding of emergency management is
likely one reason why o?cials have suggested that the
nations response to catastrophic disasters needs a
stronger command and control system that might be
best handled by the military. This article explores
whether command and control systems are appropriate in dealing with catastrophic disasters in which
authority is shared, responsibility is dispersed, resources are scattered, and collaborative processes are
essential. Collaborative processes or some combination of command and control and collaboration
might be more appropriate. It also begins to address
how FEMA and the DHS should structure the
nations capabilities to deal with catastrophes of all
sorts, natural and unnatural.
The ?eld and profession of emergency management
have been evolving into a more collaborative enterprise since the 1940s and 1950s. This transformation
has gradually moved beyond the classic top-down
bureaucratic model to become a more dynamic and
?exible network model that facilitates multiorganizational, intergovernmental, and intersectoral cooperation. Yet in the aftermath of 9/11 and Hurricane
Katrina, there have been strong pressures to return to
command and control approaches, which are inconsistent with the shared responsibility and authority
that characterizes the national emergency management system and interfere with the collaboration that
is necessary to address natural and man-made hazards
and manage disaster operations. Why is collaboration
so important in emergency management, and why are
command and control approaches so problematic?
The Evolution of Emergency Management
By the 1990s, professional emergency managers had
largely overcome images of the authoritarian air raid
wardens and civil defense directors to develop a leadership model emphasizing open communication and
broad collaboration. The transition from the civil
defense focus of the Cold War to the all-hazards focus
of the 1990s involved a fundamental cultural change,
as well as a mission adjustment. Relationships with
Effective Emergency Management 131
the public changed. Relationships with other governmental and nongovernmental organizations changed.
The successful emergency manager came to be de?ned
as one who could interact e?ectively with other government o?cials and with the broader disaster relief
community (Drabek 1987). Hundreds of organizations have some role in dealing with hazards or disasters, and many are not linked closely with federal,
state, or local emergency management agencies. Making and maintaining the necessary linkages is a monumental challenge, and it is a necessary task when
dealing with catastrophic or potentially catastrophic
disasters. In other words, the capacity to collaborate
e?ectively with the nations disaster networks is essential. Frequent interaction, including participation in
planning and training exercises, builds that capacity.
Emergency management is also being better integrated into mainstream government operations in
more states and communities, though it is still a peripheral function in some. Some communities either
lack the resources to invest in hazard management and
disaster response capabilities or simply do not see the
need to do so. However, when there is identi?able and
signi?cant risk to life and property, o?cials may face
political and legal liability for failing to take action.
The 9/11 Commissions recognition of the National
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600 standard
and the emergency management communitys acknowledgment of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) standards have made it
di?cult for public o?cials to ignore the need to invest
in programs to address hazards (Bea 2004). These
standards have also made it easier to hold public of?cials accountable when they do not address known
risks and prepare for disasters reasonably. It is much
more di?cult to claim ignorance of risks when the
standards identify potential hazards and provide
The profession of emergency management has also
changed since 9/11 and the catastrophic hurricanes of
2004 and 2005. The task environment has become
even more complex with the increased involvement of
law enforcement and national security agencies and
the addition of terrorist threats. Although there are
many similarities between disasters caused by so-called
weapons of mass destruction and those caused by
natural hazards, unnatural hazards present some special problems for emergency responders. Recent catastrophic disasters have also changed the way natural
disasters are viewed. For example, long-term disaster
recovery has become a much more central concern,
and pre-disaster recovery planning has become a focus
in emergency planning. There is more pressure to link
disaster recovery to economic development and to
deal with the long-term social and economic problems
exacerbated by disasters. The broadened mission of
emergency management requires a much di?erent
Public Administration Review December 2006 Special Issue
skill set than what was once expected of civil defense
o?cials and has been expected of homeland security
At the local level, collaboration has always been a
necessary skill because of the reliance on voluntarism
and community involvement. Volunteer ?re brigades
were organized to protect colonial communities more
than two centuries ago, and most American communities still rely on volunteer ?re departments. The
American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are still
the principal sources of assistance to disaster victims.
Volunteers provide essential surge capacity and links
to community resources.
Clearly, hierarchical bureaucracy can still be found in
the mosaic that is contemporary emergency management. In response to the growing number of major
natural disasters that occurred during the 1960s and
1970s, the National Governors Association asked
President Jimmy Carter to consolidate the hundredplus federal programs that had some responsibility for
dealing with disasters. When FEMA was created in
1979, the new agency was given responsibility for
programs ranging from the Emergency Alert System
to the U.S. Fire Academy to the National Flood Insurance Program. During this time, FEMA experienced
serious integration problems as diverse organizational
cultures were mingled and national security programs
were given priority. The DHS has experienced similar
problems since its creation in 2003. For FEMA, the
failure to respond e?ectively to Hurricanes Hugo,
Andrew, and Iniki led Congress to consider dismantling the agency in 1992. However, James Lee Witt
reinvented the agency, and it proved remarkably capable during the Northridge earthquake in 1994 and
the 9/11 disasters. Problems became evident again,
however, during the response to the 2004 Florida
hurricanes, and they became a national scandal following the poor response to the Hurricane Katrina
disaster in 2005. The question now is how to repair
the nations capability to deal with disaster. In some
measure, the question has become FEMA in or
FEMA outshould FEMA remain within DHS, or
should it be an independent agency that reports directly to the president, as it was before the DHS was
created? Is it even possible to restore FEMAs capabilities to deal with natural and technological disasters?
The collaborative approach that guided FEMAs programs in the 1990s may be lost.
The Essential Roles of Networks
Modern emergency management presents a paradox.
On one hand, emergency response requires meticulous organization and planning, but on the other
hand, it is spontaneous. Emergency managers have to
innovate, adapt, and improvise because plans, regardless of how well done, seldom ?t circumstances.
Blending these con?icting needs is no easy task.
Government hierarchies play a central role, of course,
but emergency response also necessarily draws on a wide
range of community economic, social-psychological,
and political resources. The mobilization of organizational and individual volunteers also serves a socialpsychological purpose in that it brings communities
together and gives them a sense of e?cacy.
community police, ?re, and emergency medical
service providers. Prevention is generally a local
responsibility as well. Local governments have principal responsibility for adopting and enforcing
building codes, building standards, and land-use
regulations to mitigate water, wind, seismic, landslide, and other hazards. Local emergency managers
are increasingly collaborating with building code,
Sociologists have described a process of convergence in
urban planning, and other o?cials who can help
which those wishing to help converge on disaster areas reduce risks. What we now call the new governance
(Fritz and Mathewson 1956). In fact, the state of
process forms the core of our national emergency
Californias manual for anticipating and organizing
response. Consensual processes are the rule. State
volunteers is titled They Will Come (2001). Emergency and federal agencies play important roles by providresponse di?ers from many other aspects of modern
ing public education, alert and warning systems, and
life that are dominated by rigid
evacuation plans, but the tools
organizational structures. The
needed to manage hazards and
involvement of nongovernmental The involvement of nongovern- reduce risks are most often in
mental actors builds the capac- the hands of local o?cials.
actors builds the capacity of
communities to deal with future
ity of communities to deal with
disasters. The disaster experience
future disasters. The disaster ex- Disaster operations, particularly
can speed recovery and make
perience can speed recovery and large operations, frequently incommunities more resilient when
volve a great many organizational
make communities more resil- and individual participants. For
disaster strikes again. Commuient when disaster strikes again. example, the response to the
nity capacities to respond to and
recover from disasters are not
bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah
enhanced when o?cials preempt or exclude commuFederal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 involved
nity involvement (Comfort 1999).
hundreds of public, nonpro?t, and private organizations, as well as spontaneous volunteers. The bombing
In California and (increasingly) in states with a high
was a federal crime involving a federal facility that
frequency of disaster, emergency management has
resulted in the deaths of federal o?cers, and legal
become a cottage industry. Professional groups and
jurisdiction clearly resided with the Federal Bureau of
consultants address almost every aspect of natural and Investigation and other federal agencies. However, the
technological hazards and disasters. Private companies search and rescue operation was managed by the
are also involved, providing an extensive range of
Oklahoma City Fire Department, and the outer secuservices from retro?tting buildings so that they are less rity perimeter was managed by Oklahoma City and
vulnerable to earthquakes to providing psychological
Oklahoma State law enforcement o?cers. The rescue
counseling. The lines between governmental and
operation included federalized Urban Search and
nongovernmental activities are blurring as services are
Rescue teams from local agencies across the nation.
contracted out and governments encourage preparedFire?ghters from more than 75 Oklahoma communiness e?orts. Itinerant emergency managers move from ties and more than 35 departments from Texas,
community to community, developing emergency
Kansas, Arkansas, and other states participated. In all,
operations and mitigation plans, coordinating disaster FEMA deployed more than 1,000 of its own employoperations, and facilitating collaboration among com- ees and hundreds from other federal agencies. The
munities and state agencies. To be sure, emergency
American Red Cross provided food and shelter for
management is not unlike other government o?ces
emergency personnel and support for victims and
and agencies today in terms of the contracting out of
their families. Private ?rms ranging from building
central functions, but a key di?erence is that service
supply companies to funeral homes to restaurants
demand escalates tremendously when a major disaster
supported the responders. The scale of the operation
strikes. Communities become vulnerable when their
required resources from all levels of government and
internal capacity is permitted to atrophy and outside
a wide variety of nongovernmental organizations.
resources are unavailable. Hurricane Katrina tested the
limits of governmental and nongovernmental
The response to the World Trade Center attack in
2001 was much larger and much more complex than
the response to the Oklahoma City bombing. The
Emergency management capacity is built from the
operation involved hundreds of organizations and
ground up. Neighborhood and community promany thousands of volunteers. Restaurants, catering
grams have to stand on their own because assistance
?rms, and disaster relief organizations fed emergency
may not arrive for hours or days. Major incidents are response and law enforcement personnel for weeks.
addressed by mutual assistance arrangements among
The American Red Cross coordinated the recruitment
Effective Emergency Management 133
and deployment of tens of thousands of volunteers
around Ground Zero. Private ?rms provided material
support ranging from equipment for search and rescue
operations to clean socks and underwear for emergency responders, not to mention big-screen televisions, lounge chairs, and massage therapists for rest
areas. Representatives from the American Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Pet Rescue, and
other animal welfare organizations located and rescued pets left in apartments by owners who had evacuated. Relief organizations cleaned apartments and
businesses covered with dust and debris from the
collapsed towers (Lowe and Fothergill 2003; Sutton
2003), and volunteer counselors provided psychological counseling for emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, and victims for months afterward
(Seeley 2005). Ad hoc relief organizations created in
the neighborhoods surrounding the World Trade
Center site continue to operate today. In fact, approximately 350 new charities were created after the 9/11
attacks. Similarly, almost 400 new charities were created after the Hurricane Katrina disaster (Strom
Sahlins comments underscore the complexities of
developing an e?ective emergency response when
organizational cultures vary so greatly. As he notes,
imposing a hierarchy can have a sti?ing e?ect. In fact,
con?icts between the organizational cultures of groups
such as those described by Sahlin and those of hierarchical governmental organizations, particularly law
enforcement and the military, are legend in disaster
relief organizations. Cultural interoperability problems are major impediments to the e?ective coordination of disaster relief operations (Waugh 2003, 2004).
E?ective collaboration requires both cultural sensitivity and a common language. Nonetheless, con?icts are
inevitable, and some organizations simply may be
unable or unwilling to work with others.
The large number of nongovernmental organizations
involved in disaster operations has encouraged the
creation of umbrella organizations such as National
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster and InterAction, a consortium of U.S.-based international
humanitarian and development organizations, as well
as activities such as the Disaster News Network,
which is funded by the American Baptist Churches
USA, Episcopal Relief and Development, the
Mennonite Disaster Service, Presbyterian Disaster
Assistance, the United Methodist Committee on
Relief, and other faith-based groups (see www.
disasternews.net/sponsors/). As early as 1992, Monte
Sahlin of Adventist Community Services noted the
development of networks of nongovernmental actors.
In a speech to the National Volunteer Organizations
Active in Disaster, Sahlin judged the Hurricane
Andrew disaster to be a watershed marking a shift
toward network organizations. He described the shift
in these terms:
The Collaborative Role of Emergency
At the professional level, the critical tasks leading up
to, during, and following a disaster involve coordinating multiorganizational, intergovernmental, and intersectoral response and recovery operations. In the early
1970s, because of coordination problems during large
California wild?res, the incident command system
was created to integrate and coordinate ?re operations
involving multiple departments. Unity of command
tempered by management by objectives was the solution for mounting large-scale, disciplined ?re responses, and incident command became the mantra
of ?re services. When events get larger and involve
more participants, a uni?ed command is created.
Uni?ed command usually means more sharing of
information and coordination of e?ort, but participation in decision making is limited in large emergency
response operations. There are practical limits to
participation, partic …
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