Todd LaPorte

CONTACT INFORMATION
Office:
742 Barrows Hall
Phone:
510 642-4673
Alternate #:
510 642-6323

Faculty

Research Interests: 
Technology Policy
Organization Theory
Public Administration
Degrees: 
B.A., University of Dubuque (IA)
M.A., Stanford University
Ph.D., Stanford University
Personal Statement: 

Todd. R. La Porte is Professor of Political Science at the Univ. of California, Berkeley (1965), where he was also Associate Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies (1973-88.) He received his B.A. from the University of Dubuque (IA) (1953); his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University (1962), and held faculty posts at the University of Southern California, and Stanford University as well as UCB. He teaches and publishes in the areas of organization theory, technology and politics and the organizational and decision making dynamics of large, complex, technologically intensive organizations, as well as public attitudes toward advanced technologies, and the challenges of governance in a technological society. He was a principal of the Berkeley High Reliability Organization Project, a multi-disciplinary team that studied the organizational aspects of safety-critical systems such as nuclear power, air traffic control, and nuclear aircraft carriers. His research concerns the evolution of large-scale organizations operating technologies demanding very high level of operating reliable (nearly failure free) performance across a number of management generations, and the relationship of large-scale technical systems to political legitimacy. This took him to Los Alamos National Laboratory (1998-2003) examining the institutional challenges of multi-generation nuclear missions. Most recently, he has taken up questions of crisis management in the face of new types of threats emerging from our sustained engagement with Radical Islam. In a parallel effort, he is examining the institutional evolution of a critical element in the nation's meteorological monitoring capacity and Earth Observation system, the development of the National Polar-orbiter Operational Environmental Satellite System managed by NOAA and the DOD in cooperation with NASA.

He was a Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, and Research Fellow, Wissenschaftszentrum (Sciences Center) Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Social Research, Cologne. In 1985, he was elected to the National Academy of Public Administration. Service on editorial boards includes Policy Sciences, Public Administration Review, Technology Studies, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, and the Steering Committee, Large Technical Systems International Study Group. He has been a member of the Board on Radioactive Waste Management, and served on panels of the Committee on Human Factors, and Transportation Research Board, National Academy of Sciences. He served on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, Department of Energy, and chaired its Task Force on Radioactive Waste Management, examining questions of institutional trustworthiness, and was on the Technical Review Committee, Nuclear Materials Technology Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has also served as a member of: the Committee on Long Term Institutional Management of DOE Legacy Waste Sites: Phase Two; and the Committee on Principles and Operational Strategies for Staged Repository Systems, both of the Board on Radioactive Waste Management, The National Academies of Science (2001-2003). He has consulted with DOE's, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, and currently is a Faculty Affiliate, Decision Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Articles: 
  • “Anticipating Rude Surprises: Reflections on “Crisis Management” Without End,” ch 2. L. Jones, ed. , Communicable Crises: Prevention, Management and Resolution in the Global Arena. Elsivier, 2007.)
  • “Critical Infrastructure in the Face of a Predatory Future: Preparing for Untoward Surprise.” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 15, 1, (March, 2007) 60-64.
  • “Challenges of Assuring High Reliability When Facing Suicide Terrorism,” (2006) ch. 12, in P. Auerswald, L. Branscomb, T. M. LaPorte, and E. Michel-Kerjan, eds., Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response: How Private Action Can Reduce Public Vulnerability, Cambridge University Press.
  • “Institutional Issues for Continued Space Exploration: High-reliability systems across many operational generations – Requisites for public credibility.” in Steven Dick, ed., Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight. NASA History Division: Washington, D.C., 2006.
  • “Elements for Long Term Institutional Stewardship in a Hazardous Age: (Views from a ‘Stewardee’),” session on Institutional Challenges for Long-Term Stewardship of Contaminated Sites, Association for the Advancement of Science, Seattle, WA, Feb 16, 2004.
  • (with H. G. Frederickson,) “Airport Security, High Reliability, and the Problem of Rationality,” Public Administration Review, 62 (September 2002), Special Issue on Homeland Security, pp. 34-44.
  • “Fiabilite et legitimaite soutenable,” [Reliability and Sustainable Legitimacy]. ch. 3 in Mathilde Bourrier, ed, Organiser la fiabilite. (L’Harmattan, Paris, France), 2001. pp. 71-106. Trans. of “Highly Reliable Operations and the Rigors of Sustained Legitimacy: Matters of Public Trust and Institutional Constancy,” paper presented to Workshop on Organization Approaches to Organizational Reliability, Department Technologies et Sciences de l’Homme, Universite de Technologies de Compiegne, Compiegne, France, Oct. 7-8, 1999.
  • Stewardship and the Design of ‘Future Friendly’ Technologies: Avoiding Operational Strain in Nuclear Materials Management at Scale, (2000) Final Report. LANL/UCB Award # 120BG-0018-23 (1998-2000) (250 pp). Todd R. La Porte, Principal Investigator, contributor and editor.

    Includes six papers:

    • I. “Institutional elements for long term stewardship in a nuclear age.” Todd R. La Porte
    • II. “Sustained, highly reliable operations across multiple generations: Management challenges of assuring nuclear weapons components.” Todd R. La Porte
    • III. “Revealing (micro)operational networks: Life in the emerging (down-scaled) post cold war world of nuclear weapons." Adam Stone and Todd R. La Porte
    • IV. “Regulatory ecology mapping and evaluating the regulatory environment of LANL.” Adam Stone and Todd R. La Porte
    • V. “Technical operations in the shadow of the law: Two stories of interpretation and compliance at Los Alamos National Laboratory.” Jude Egan and Todd R. La Porte
    • VI. “Strategic regulatory action: A framework for analyzing design and regulation.” Adam Stone.
  • “Diluting Public Patrimony or Inventive Response to Increasing Knowledge Asymmetries: Watershed or Land Grant Universities? Reflections on the University of California, Berkeley - Novartis Agreement.” in Research Teams and Partnerships: Trends in the Chemical Sciences. Report of a Workshop, National Academic Press, 1999. pp. 66-84.
  • (With A. Keller ) Assuring Institutional Constancy: Requisite for Managing Long-Lived Hazard, Public Administration Review , 56, 6 (November -December, 1996), 535-544. Assuring Institutional Constancy: Requisite for Managing Long-Lived Hazards Todd R. LaPorte; Ann Keller Public Administration Review > Vol. 56, No. 6 (Nov., 1996), pp. 535-544 Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0033 352%28199611%2F12%2956%3A6%3C535%3AAICRFM%3E2.0.CO%3B2-R
  • Hazards and Institutional Trustworthiness: Facing a Deficit of Trust Todd R. La Porte; Daniel S. Metlay Public Administration Review > Vol. 56, No. 4 (Jul., 1996), pp. 341-347
  • "High Reliability Organizations: Unlikely, Demanding and At Risk", Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 4, 2 (June 1996), 60-71. (Part of a special issues devoted to the High Reliability Organization Project.)
  • Shifting Vantage and Conceptual Puzzles in Understanding Public Organizational Networks. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 6,1 (Jan. 1996), 49-74. Shifting Vantage and Conceptual Puzzles in Understanding Public Organization Networks Todd R. La Porte Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan., 1996), pp. 49-74
  • "Technologies as Systems and Networks: Issues of Dependence, Public Confidence and Constancy. Flux. International Quarterly of networks and Territory. 21 (July-Sept. 1995), 37-46.
  • "False Dichotomies and Limits to Testing: A Strawman Speaks Up." (Comments on Scott Sagan, Limits to Safety.) Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 2, 4 (Dec. 1994), 207-211.
  • (With Craig W. Thomas) "Regulatory Compliance and the Ethos of Quality Enhancement: Surprises in Nuclear Power Plant Operations," Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. 5,1 (Jan. 1995), 111-139. Regulatory Compliance and the Ethos of Quality Enhancement: Surprises in Nuclear Power Plant Operations Todd R. La Porte; Craig W. Thomas Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART > Vol. 5, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 109-137
  • Large Technical Systems, Institutional Surprise and Challenges to Political Legitimacy," in Hans-Ulrich Derlien, Uta Gerhardt and Fritiz Scharpf, eds. Systemrationalitat und Partialinteresse. (Systems Rationality and Partial Interests.) Festschrift fur Renate Mayntz. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellscahft, 1994, 433-452. Slightly revised version published in Technology in Society. 16, 3, (Dec., 1994), 269-288.
  • (With K.H. Roberts and D.M. Rousseau) "The Culture of High Reliability: Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment Aboard Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers," High Technology Management Research. 5, (Spring 1994),.
  • A State of the Field: Increasing Relative Ignorance Todd R. LaPorte Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART > Vol. 4, No. 1 The Berkeley Symposium on Public Management (Jan., 1994), pp. 5-15
  • (With Daniel Metlay). Earning Public Trust and Confidence Requisite for Managing Radioactive Wastes. Final Report. Task Force on Radioactive Waste Management, Secretary of Energy Advisory Board. Washington, D.C. November 1993. Chairman, Contributor and Editor.
  • Editor, Social Responses to Large Technical Systems: Control or Anticipation. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Klwuer Academic Publishers, 1991. with Introduction, "The Challenge of Understanding Large Technical Systems," 1-4.
  • Proceeding of the Conference on the Social Responses to the Deployment of Large Technical Systems: Regulation, Management, Anticipation or Free Reign. 17-21 Oct. 1989, University of California, Berkeley. Sponsored jointly by the NATO Advanced and Research Workshop Program and the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment.
  • (With Paula Consolini) "Working In Practice but Not in Theory: Theoretical Challenges of High Reliability Organizations," Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 1 (Winter, 1991) 23-49.
  • (With E. L. Lascher) "Lessons From a Reliability Crisis," Public Utility Fortnightly, 125, 7 June 1990, 11 - 15.
  • "California Agency Reconnaissance Project Reports," with David Hadwiger and Steven Stehr, Working Paper 88-7, Reports 1-26, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, June 1988, 295pp.
  • "The United States Air Traffic System: Increasing Reliability in the Midst of Growth," in T. Hughes and R. Mayntz, eds., The Development of Large Technical Systems. Boulder, CO: Westview Press and Franfurt am Mainz, FRG: Campus Verlug, 1988), 215-244.
  • (With T. Lascher,) "Cold Turkeys and Task Forces: Pursuing High (Electric Power) Reliability in California's Central Valley," Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Nov. 1988.
  • (With G. I. Rochlin, K. H. Roberts) "The Self-Designing High Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations At Sea." Naval War College Review, 90 (Autumn, 1987) 76-90.
  • "What Our Focus Yields," Science, Technology and Politics, 2 (August 1987), 12-17.
  • "High Reliability Organizations: The Dimensions of the Research Challenge." Working Papers on Public Organizations, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, March 1987.
  • (with Daniel Metlay) "Technology Observed: Attitudes of a Wary Public," Science, 188 (11 April 1975) 121-127.
  • "Confusions in the Debate over the Governance of 'Science' and 'Technology'," Politics and the Life Sciences, l984.
  • "Technology-As-Social-Organization: Implications for Policy Analysis," Working Paper 84-1, Studies in Public Organization, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, Jan. 1984.
  • (With I. Bupp and J. Harding,) "The Waste Management Network: The Role of Transportation and the Repository Location," Social and Economic Aspects of Radioactive Waste Disposal: Considerations for Institutional Management, Ch. 3, Panel on Social and Economic Aspects of Radioactive Waste Management, Board on Radioactive Waste Management, National Research Council, l983.
  • "Alternative Energy Development in California: Views of Institutional Change," in A. G. Sacks and L. Lindberg, eds., The Institutional and Policy Challenges of Energy Policy, Energy Research Center, University Forum, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dec. l982.
  • "On the Design and Management of Nearly Error-Free Organizational Control Systems," in D. Sills, C. Wolf and Shelanski, eds., The Accident and Three Mile Island: The Human Dimensions. Westview Press, Boulder, CO., l982, pp.185-200.
  • Contributor, "Public Perceptions," sections in Chapter 8, "Radioactive Waste Management," National Academy of Sciences, W. H. Freeman, Outlook for Science and Technology: The Next Five Years. San Francisco, CA, l982.
  • "Managing Nuclear Wastes," Society/Transactions, July/Aug. l98l.
  • "Public Attitudes Toward Science and Technology," Scientometrics, v. 2, no. 5-6, l980.
  • "Nuclear Wastes Increasing Scale and Sociopolitical Impacts," Science, l9l, July 7, l978, 22-29. Nuclear Waste: Increasing Scale and Sociopolitical Impacts Todd R. La Porte Science > New Series, Vol. 201, No. 4350 (Jul., 1978), pp. 22-28
  • (With Claire Abrams) "Alternative Patterns of Post Industria: The Californian Experience,” in L. Lindberg, ed., Politics and the Future Industrial Society. New York: David McKay, l976.
  • (With Daniel Metlay). "They Watch and Wonder: Public Attitudes Toward Advanced Technologies," Institute of Governmental Studies, U.C. Berkeley and Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dec. l975, 367pp.
  • (With Daniel Metlay) "Public Attitudes Toward Present and Future Technologies: Satisfactions and Apprehensions," Social Studies of Science, 5, Nov. l975, 373-398.
  • (With Daniel Metlay) "Technology Observed: Attitudes of a Wary Public,". Science, l88, Apr. ll, l975, l2l-l27. Reprinted in Science, Technology and Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 1988. [A collection of articles from Science.]
  • Chapter X, "Complexity and Uncertainty: Challenge to Action," in T. R. La Porte, ed., Organized Social Complexity: Challenge to Politics and Policy, Princeton University Press, l975.
  • Chapter I, "Organized Social Complexity as an Analytical Problem: An Introduction and Explication," in T. R. La Porte, ed., Organized Social Complexity: Challenge to Politics and Policy, Princeton University Press, l975.
  • (With S. Rosenthal, E. Levine, S. Ross, K. N. Lee.) "Interactions of Technology and Society: Impacts of Improved Air Transport: A Study of Airports at the Grass Roots," Institute of Governmental Studies, U.C. Berkeley and Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Fall l974, 370pp (Issued as NASA Contractors Report NASA CR-287l) July l977.
  • "Beyond Machine and Structure: A Basis for the Political Criticism of Technology," Soundings, Fall l974.
  • (With J. Forester, I. Kurzban, D. Metlay, D. Miller and S. Rosenthal.) "Social Change, Public Response, and Regulation of Large-Scale Technology Questions in the Social Assessment of STOL Aircraft Transport," Second Annual Progress Report. T. R. La Porte, Principal Investigator, Institute of Governmental Studies, U.C. Berkeley and Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dec. l972.
  • (With B. Catron, J. Forester, N. Mayer and D. Metlay.) "A Perspective in the Assessment of Large-Scale Technology: The Case of the STOL Aircraft Transport System," A Progress Report. Institute of Governmental Studies, U.C. Berkeley and Ames Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Nov. l97l.
  • "Organizational Response to Complexity: Research and Development as Organized Inquiry and Action - Part I," Working Paper No. l4l, Center for Planning and Development Research, Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Jan. l97l.
  • Review of J. D. Thompson, "Organizations in Action," and V.H. Vroom, ed., "Methods of Organizational Research," American Political Science Review, Mar. l969.
  • "A Context of Hope and the Teaching Vocation: Requisites for an Unknowable Future," Soundings, 53 (Summer l970), pp. l44-l50.
  • "The Context of Technology Assessment: A Changing Perspective for Public Organization," Public Administration Review, v. 3l, no. l, Jan./Feb. l97l.
  • (With J. L. Wood) "Function Contributions of Bootlegging and Entrepreneurship in Research Organizations,", Human Organizations, Winter l970.
  • "The Recovery of Relevance in the Study of Public Organizations", in F. Marini, ed., Toward a New Public Administration. (San Francisco: Chandler Press, l970), Chapter 2.
  • "Diffusion and Discontinuity in Science, Technology and Public Affairs: Results of a Search in the Field," American Behavioral Scientist, Special Issue on Science and Public Policy, May l967.
  • "Politics and 'Inventing the Future': Perspectives in Science and Government," Public Administrative Review, Special Issue on Science and Public Policy, June l967.
  • "Conditions of Strain and Accommodation in Industrial Research Organization," Administrative Science Quarterly, June l965, pp. 2l-38.
  • "Adaptation of Scientists in Five Organizations: A Comparative Analysis," Vol. l; Methodological Appendix and Technical Appendix, Vol. 2; with H. Vollmer, W. C. Pedersen and P. Langton, Stanford Research Institute, May l964. Technical report to the Air Force Office of Science Research, No. IMU3580.