Does Theory Matter? Applying Organizational Theory to Develop Effective Local Government Emergency Management Programs [open pdf - 2MB]
From the Thesis Abstract: "Emergency management has developed into a profession with demands and expertise separate from other professional disciplines in government service. Coordination issues before, during, and after a disaster have continually been a challenge for emergency management. Although the organizational placement of local government emergency management agencies varies extensively across the United States, public administration organizational theory provides a foundation for considerations that inform the design of these bureaucratic structures. Structure influences essential emergency management functions such as interagency coordination, resource allocation, program prioritization, decision making, information flow, and collaboration. Organizational design also significantly affects program characteristics, including culture development, professional identity, and employee engagement--all of which have direct relationships with program effectiveness. This thesis supports the notion that jurisdictions need to carefully consider the organizational placement of their emergency management programs to support effective service delivery. Jurisdictions should ensure that programs are structured in a way that promotes program empowerment, limits hierarchical layers, promotes executive sponsorship, enhances collaboration, and develops an emergency management culture."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/