Department of Homeland Security A Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

The management of large organizations is a very crucial issue, whether they are government-related or not (Argyris, 1993; Argyris & Schon, 1978; Broom, Jackson, Harris, & Vogelsang-Coombs, n.d.; Brown & Brudney, 2003; Hatry, 1999; Haynes, 1999). Often, however, the government does not seem to realize that it must manage itself in the same way that a business would in certain aspects if it is to succeed and therefore it does not market itself to the public.

The spending that has been involved with the Department of Homeland Security is also crucial, because it has changed over time to reflect the needs and the realization of what it takes to make the Department work (Eggen & Mintz, 2003). This spending is important to discuss, because it indicates how much of the government's money - and by extension how much of the tax dollars of Americans - is going toward funding this Department and the work that it is doing to stop terrorists from striking this country again. The following table, which has been reproduced for this paper, shows the amount of money spent on each area of the Department of Homeland Security for three years.

Table 1. Homeland Security Funding by Department or Agency, Fiscal Years 2001 to 2003 (in millions)

FY 2003



FY 2001

FY 2002




Estimated (a)


Department of Agriculture

Department of Commerce

National Security/Department of Defense (b)

Department of Education

Department of Energy

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Department of the Interior

Department of justice

Department of Labor

Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Transportation

Department of Veterans


Agency for International


Corporation for National

Community Service

District of Columbia

Environmental Protection


Executive Office of the President

Federal Communications


Federal Emergency Management


General Services


Kennedy Center

National Aeronautic's and Spare Administration

National Archives

National Capital Planning


National Gallery of Art

National Science Foundation

Nuclear Regulatory


Office of Personnel


Securities and Exchange



Social Security


US Postal Service

US Army Corps of Engineers

Other small/independent agencies

Reproduced from the following: GAO Source OMB MemorandumM-02-14, "Additional Information Requirements for Overseas Combating Terrorism and Homeland Security for the FY 2004 Budget" (August 8, 2002) and GAO analysis.

The belief among many is that the Department of Homeland Security started off well and was a good idea, but may not go far enough or be as efficient as it actually needs to be (Dunham, 2002; Eggen, 2003; Fredrickson & LaPorte, 2002). The Web site information from the Department, however, would contradict this view. According to the Web site, the Department of Homeland Security has the "capability to anticipate, preempt and deter threats to the homeland whenever possible, and the ability to respond quickly when such threats do materialize" (Threats, n.d.). Whether the Department is actually as capable as it claims to be regarding this, however, is something that is not actually known by most individuals, and so they are left with their opinions of what should be done and what is being done by the Department of Homeland Security.


As can be seen from the review of the literature, the Department of Homeland Security has not been around long and has had to adjust and adapt rather fast. In doing this, there have been some problems and issues that have had to be dealt with, and there are likely still 'bugs' that have to be worked out. However, it also appears that the Department is aware of most if not all of these problems and therefore it is only a matter of time before they are corrected. During that time, however, there are still vulnerabilities in the system and America is not completely safe.

Chapter Three

Survey Methodology

Description of Research

The research methods for this particular study will deal primarily with a review of literature and information that has already been collected or created by others when it comes to the Department of Homeland Security. This will include books, articles, magazines, newspapers, media transcripts, and any other type of print information that may be located. If any Internet sources are used, they must be reputable sources, such as University or Government web pages. This information will be used in the literature review and also used for a qualitative analysis of the data in order to help determine whether the Department of Homeland Security is actually doing the job that it has set out to do, or whether there are problems and issues that need to be resolved.

The rest of the research will deal with interviews with military personnel and civilians, and presumably with the Department of Homeland Security itself. These interviews will also be included in the data analysis section in order to determine what public feeling is toward this department and what the department itself has to say regarding its record and the concerns that individuals in this country are voicing when it comes to whether they are any more secure now. Whether the Department of Homeland Security will talk with the researcher remains to be seen, since security issues are often a problem for these types of governmental organizations. This may hinder that particular aspect of the research, but should not affect the other aspects in any way.


There is no complex instrument that is used for this study. Instead, the researcher will simply review the information that has been found in the literature review and also survey 20 military individuals and 20 civilians as to whether they feel that the Department of Homeland Security is doing a good job and why they feel that way. While this is indeed simplistic, the qualitative nature of the study requires that people's thoughts and feelings be expressed. These thoughts and feelings are often more important than statistical information, because they indicate the tide of public opinion.

Data Gathering

The data will be gathered by collecting written information from those that were surveyed. This written information will then be compiled and studied to determine how many of the 40 people surveyed feel that the Department of Homeland Security is doing a good job and whether there are higher rates of acceptance for military or civilians. These acceptance rates are important, as they will help indicate whether there is a significant difference between what the military thinks of the Department and what civilians think of the Department, which may indicate some things that the Department could do to improve relations with those that do not feel that they are doing enough.

Data Analysis

The analysis of the data will deal with compiling the information collected and examining it to see if there are any trends that show up in civilian or military information, and how many of each group feel that the Department of Homeland Security is doing what it should be to ensure America's safety. This opinion of the American people is important to the researcher and should be important to the government as well. It is not expected that the Department will be able to please everyone, no matter what it does, but there may be a trend of problems that can be avoided if the Department is aware of some of the concerns that the American people actually have.


As with any study, this one has some limitations. While it is important to discuss and recognize them, there is also only so much space that can be utilized for this. Due to this, there are two limitations that will be pointed out here. First, the study has a small sample size. This is not always a problem, but it can be a problem for some studies. A larger sample would, naturally, give a more complete and accurate representation of the issue. Second, the study is qualitative. Many studies are quantitative and deal with facts and figures.

These studies provide a lot of information, but they do not always allow for the thoughts of the participants. Because of this, the true feelings of the individuals are often overlooked. In a qualitative study, however, these things are not overlooked. The disadvantage to this qualitative type of study is that the facts and figures that many want to see in a study will not be present. Whether this is a true limitation is actually debatable, but it is mentioned here to ensure that it is understood by all.

Chapter Four

Presentation and Analysis of Survey Data

Presentation of Data

The data that was collected for this study came from the literature review as well as from the surveys that were taken. There were 20 civilians and 20 individuals in the military that were surveyed regarding the Department of Homeland Security, whether it was doing its job, and what was thought about it. These surveys were important to get the feel of what people…

Cite This Case Study:

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