The Logic of Uncertainty and Executive Discretion in Decision Making: The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Ebola Response

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This article addresses what a highly complex public health situation such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Ebola outbreak tell about the use of discretion by executive level public administrators.

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18 p.

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Benavides, Abraham David; Keyes, Laura; McEntire, David & Carlson, Erin K. June 2017.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: UNT Scholarly Works and was provided by UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 47 times , with 9 in the last month . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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This article addresses what a highly complex public health situation such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Ebola outbreak tell about the use of discretion by executive level public administrators.

Physical Description

18 p.

Notes

Abstract: This paper addresses an important question: what can a highly complex public health situation such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Ebola outbreak tell us about the use of discretion by executive level public administrators? The public administration literature is rich with evidence of street-level bureaucratic discretion, but has not explored executive level discretion decision making. The authors argue that in highly complex situations of uncertainty, such as in the case of the Dallas-Fort Worth regional Ebola emergency response, the executive use of discretion translates to decisions under the conditions of uncertainty. This article theorizes a logic of uncertainty when two important assumptions exist; the situation is absent a plan to guide decision making, and the decision makers lack any previous precedent with the situation. Results indicate that when survey respondents departed from their emergency management plan, and planned as the event unfolded, they were more likely to use executive discretion decision making.

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  • Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, 2017. Houston, TX: Texas Southern University

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  • Publication Title: Journal of Public Management and Social Policy
  • Volume: 24
  • Issue: 1
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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UNT Scholarly Works

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  • June 2017

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  • Oct. 6, 2017, 9:34 a.m.

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Benavides, Abraham David; Keyes, Laura; McEntire, David & Carlson, Erin K. The Logic of Uncertainty and Executive Discretion in Decision Making: The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Ebola Response, article, June 2017; Houston, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1010767/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.