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Studies of local emergency management and homeland security collaboration have rapidly grown in the public administration research. Local governments are viewed as key actors in the U.S. to coordinate national counterterrorism efforts and provide functional activities relevant to emergency management. However, the discussions about why local governments collaborate based on the analysis of different types of collaboration in this area are still limited. Through using the mixed-methods approach, this dissertation develops a framework under the perspectives of organizational internal factors, organizational external factors, and emergency management/homeland security capacity to empirically study the determinants of collaboration in the context of emergency management and homeland security at the local level according to three types of collaboration: vertical, horizontal-interlocal, and horizontal-intersectoral collaborations. The ICMA 2005 Homeland Security Survey data is used to conduct the empirical analysis. This research also interviews city and county local emergency management managers in Florida to understand their 1) motivations behind each type of collaboration, 2) definitions of collaboration, 3) perceived obstacles of collaboration, 4) practical collaborative activities in both vertical and horizontal contexts, and 5) opinions on the influences of organizational internal and external factors on collaboration. The findings of this research show that factors related to resource shortage in money and information, mutual understanding, financial resource dependence on higher levels of government, and the adoption of national standard have different impacts on different types of collaboration. Organizational attention is a critical factor to all three types of collaboration. Local emergency management/homeland security capacity can be a significant determinant and mediator. From the practical point of view, horizontal collaboration is more common than vertical collaboration. For local governments, seeking resources and training opportunities can explain most parts of vertical collaboration. However, in the horizontal context, a local government not only plays a part as a resource-seeker but also as an assistance-provider to their governmental and non-governmental partners. In sum, this study helps us to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of local emergency management and homeland security collaboration in the United States.
Cross-sector Collaboration, Intergovernmental relations, Local Emergency Management, Mixed-Methods Approach, Vertical and Horizontal Collaboration
Date of Defense
March 12, 2012.
A Dissertation submitted to the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Frances S. Berry, Professor Directing Dissertation; Carol Weissert, University Representative; Richard C. Feiock, Committee Member; Kaifeng Yang, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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