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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Public Administration
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies

Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies

Date: December 2013
Creator: Lung, Wei-Liang
Description: This dissertation assesses the importance of a specific debt instrument, the Certifi- cate of Obligation in the state of Texas. It conceptualizes the Certificate of Obligation as a type of contractual debt that enables local governments to finance their capital projects. This dissertation is guided by three research questions: (1) What are the various types of debt instruments employed by local governments and what are their relative advantages? (2) How prevalent is the use of a specific debt instrument such as Certificates of Obligation? And why would some local governments prefer to issue them while others do not? (3) To what extent does the local institutional environment, e.g., the executive authority of city managers in the council-manager form of government, affect debt financing behaviors of local governments? To examine the first research question, we created a typology to represent four ideal types of borrowing methods: (1) Contractual Debt, (2) Voter Approval/Special Tax Debt, (3) Guaranteed, and (4) Non-Guaranteed Debts. The typology examines whether or not the state mandates the referendum requirement for the use of each of these debt instruments, and at the same time determines whether each debt instrument is secured by multiple or single revenue sources. Using data ...
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The Current Status of Hazard Mitigation in Local Emergency Management: an Examination of Roles, Challenges, and Success Indicators

The Current Status of Hazard Mitigation in Local Emergency Management: an Examination of Roles, Challenges, and Success Indicators

Date: December 2014
Creator: Samuel, Carlos
Description: This dissertation used an organizational structure framework to examine the current status of hazard mitigation from the perspective of emergency managers from four organizational structure categories. This study addressed three primary research questions: (1) What is the role of the local emergency management office in hazard mitigation and what is the function of other stakeholders as perceived by local emergency managers? (2) What are the challenges to achieving hazard mitigation objectives and what are the strategies used to overcome them? and (3) How do local emergency managers define hazard mitigation success? Thirty North Central Texas emergency managers were recruited for participation in this study, and data was collected through telephone interviews and an internet survey. A mixed methodology was used to triangulate qualitative and quantitative findings. Qualitative analyses consisted of inductive grounded theory, and quantitative data analyses consisted of independent samples t-test analyses, correlation analyses, and Chi-square analyses. Findings indicate that emergency managers from the different emergency management office categories have six self-identified roles in hazard mitigation planning and strategy implementation; have a similar reported level of involvement in different hazard mitigation-related activities; and perceive stakeholders as having four key functions in hazard mitigation planning and strategy implementation. Second, participants ...
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Delaying Evacuation: Risk Communication in Mobilizing Evacuees

Delaying Evacuation: Risk Communication in Mobilizing Evacuees

Date: August 2014
Creator: Li, Xiangyu
Description: Evacuation is oftentimes the best means to prevent the loss of lives when residents encounter certain hazards, such as hurricanes. Emergency managers and experts make great efforts to increase evacuation compliance but risk area residents may procrastinate even after making the decision to leave, thus complicating response activities. Purpose - This study explores the factors determining evacuees’ mobilization periods, defined here as, the delay time between the decision to evacuate and actual evacuation. The theoretical model that guides this research is built on the protective action decision model (PADM). It captures both the social and psychological factors in the process of transferring risk information to mobilization action. The psychological process of risk communication originates from personalized external information and ends with the formation of risk perception, ultimately influencing evacuees’ mobilizations. Design/methodology/approach – Using structural equation modeling (SEM), the model is tested using survey data collected from Hurricane Rita (2005) evacuees in 2006 (N = 897). The residents of three Texas coastal counties (Harris, Brazoria, and Galveston) are randomly selected and telephone-interviewed. Findings – The findings indicate that mobilizations are affected directly by respondents’ concerns of the threats to their personal lives and costs and dangers on their evacuation trips. The ...
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Discretion, Delegation, and Professionalism: A Study of Outcome Measures in Upward Bound Programs

Discretion, Delegation, and Professionalism: A Study of Outcome Measures in Upward Bound Programs

Date: August 2011
Creator: Holt, Amy C.
Description: In our society, American citizens expect public policies to result in programs that address social problems in ways that are both efficient and effective. In order to judge if these two values are being achieved, public programs are often scrutinized through program monitoring and evaluation. Evaluation of public programs often is a responsibility delegated to local-level managers. The resulting discretion has to be balanced with the need for accountability that is also inherent in public programs. Evaluation is often difficult because outcomes are not readily measurable due to the complexity of the problems faced in the public setting. The Upward Bound program provides an example of this. Upward Bound provides services to students from low-income families and those in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree in order to increase the rate at which participants complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions. Upward Bound is implemented and evaluated based upon specifications decided upon at the local level. This discretion granted to local level managers has resulted in wide variations in the way the program is being evaluated. This presents a problem for evaluation and has resulted in inconclusive results as to the success of the program. ...
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Drilling Down Natural Gas Well Permitting Policy:  Examining the Effects of Institutional Arrangements on Citizen Participation and Policy Outcomes

Drilling Down Natural Gas Well Permitting Policy: Examining the Effects of Institutional Arrangements on Citizen Participation and Policy Outcomes

Date: August 2013
Creator: Long, Laurie C.
Description: Over the past decade the movement of natural gas drilling operations toward more suburban and urban communities has created unique policy challenges for municipalities. Municipal response is manifest in a variety of institutional arrangements, some more enabling than others regarding citizen access to public hearings. This observation lead to the main research question, “How are variations in citizen participation affecting policy outcomes?” The argument is made that institutions affecting citizen participation, in turn affect policy outcomes. If the general public is given access to public hearings, their preferences for longer setbacks will be taken into account and the approved gas wells will have greater distances from neighboring residences – effectively providing for greater safety. Given the paucity of research on the topic of natural gas drilling, the research first begins with the presentation of a theoretical framework to allow for analysis of the highly complex topic of gas well permitting, emphasizing the rule-ordered relationships between the various levels of decision making and provides a typology of collective action arenas currently used by Texas municipalities. The research uses paired case studies of most similar design and employs a mixed methods process for the collection, analysis and interpretation of the municipal level ...
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The Interactive Effect of Fund Balance and Revenue Diversification on Local Government Fiscal Sustainability

The Interactive Effect of Fund Balance and Revenue Diversification on Local Government Fiscal Sustainability

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wachira, David W.
Description: This dissertation explores how cities achieve fiscal sustainability—the financial capacity to consistently meet basic public service responsibilities regardless of economic conditions. Two research questions arise from the interplay between the local economy and fiscal sustainability. First, what management tools do cities use to achieve fiscal sustainability given that economic conditions are largely outside their control? Second, what explains the variation among cities in the financial management tools used to achieve fiscal sustainability? The financial management tools of interest in this study are revenue diversity and the size of the fund balance. It is conjectured that financial management tools interact with each other prompting the tools to function as policy substitutes for each other. Cities achieve fiscal sustainability by strategically choosing budget-balancing tools appropriate to their economic conditions. The study utilizes a cross-state comparison from 351 Massachusetts municipal governments using panel data from 2000 to 2009 and 993 New York municipal governments using panel data from 2001 to 2010. Using theories of fiscal sustainability and revenue diversification, several models are proposed that test the interactive effects of fund balance size and revenue diversity on fiscal sustainability. The results from the empirical analyses show that cities use various financial management tools to ...
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The Interactive Effects of Tax and Expenditure Limitations Stringency with Revenue Diversity and the Council-manager Form of Government on Municipal Expenditures

The Interactive Effects of Tax and Expenditure Limitations Stringency with Revenue Diversity and the Council-manager Form of Government on Municipal Expenditures

Date: December 2014
Creator: Jaikampan, Kraiwuth
Description: This dissertation examines the effects of tax and expenditure limitations (TELs) stringency and its interaction with revenue diversity and the council-manager form of government on municipal general fund expenditure. TELs are explicit rules that states impose to reduce local government spending. TELs stringency varies from state to state, leading to difficulties in assessing their impact across the nation. This dissertation proposes a new means for measuring the stringency of TELs imposed on local governments. Factor analysis is utilized, and then factor scores are calculated to identify degrees of TELs stringency. This study contends that higher levels of TELs stringency are associated with lower local government spending. However, the effectiveness of TELs is dependent on revenue diversity and the form of government. This study suggests that both revenue diversity and the council-manager form of government mitigate the impacts of TELs stringency on local government spending. Panel data from 2007 to 2011 from 1,508 municipalities are utilized. This study finds that higher levels of TELs stringency are associated with lower levels of municipal general fund expenditures per capita. However, TELs stringency is effective only when revenue diversity is low and when cities have a form of government other than council-manager. These results ...
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The Mediating Role of Professional Membership Associations Through the Prism of Organizational Social Capital

The Mediating Role of Professional Membership Associations Through the Prism of Organizational Social Capital

Date: August 2014
Creator: Saitgalina, Marina
Description: Civil society emphasizes the importance for citizens to be involved and developed in association with other people. The importance of socialization for citizens to learn civic values and develop virtues of tolerance and solidarity is generated by voluntary associations. Mediating structures are the entities that help to integrate disconnected elements of civil society and strengthen communities. Social capital is one of the elements that is actively utilized by mediating structures to connect people to, and get involved with others in mobilizing their efforts collectively for both public and private causes through volunteering. Traditionally only charitable nonprofits were perceived to be mediating structures. However, there are scattered examples of non-charitable professional membership 501(c)(6) associations engaging themselves and their members in social programs and community volunteering unaccountable for in the literature. Using the theories of mediating structures and social capital this research questions the assumption of limited applicability of mediating structures. Extensive empirical analysis of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) dataset is performed to determine how social capital and other organizational factors affect the performance of mediating roles by professional membership associations.
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Morality and Mortality: the Role of Values in the Adoption of Laws Governing the Involuntary Removal of Life Sustaining Medical Treatment in Us States

Morality and Mortality: the Role of Values in the Adoption of Laws Governing the Involuntary Removal of Life Sustaining Medical Treatment in Us States

Date: August 2012
Creator: Harvey, Jacqueline Christine
Description: Disputes between patients and providers regarding life-sustaining medical treatment (LSMT) are universal across all U.S. states, yet policies regarding these disputes differ significantly. This dissertation determines that all 50 states have advance directive laws that protect a patient’s right to refuse LSMT even when a healthcare provider objects, yet only some states have policies that protect the patient’s right to choose to continue LSMT when a healthcare provider objects (a dispute known as medical futility). Some states have pro-patient laws that protect the patient’s right to make the final decision, while other states have enacted pro-provider medical futility policies that explicitly grant the provider authority to remove LSMT against the patient’s wishes. Finally, in one state, the law delegates the final decision to a third-party: institutional healthcare ethics committees. This dissertation studies the innovation and adoption of these 17 state medical futility policies, examining the theory that values determine both whether the state adopts a medical futility policy as well as what type of medical futility policy a state will adopt- as the policy actors that represent these values: policy entrepreneurs and interest groups. A comparative case study of successful third-party policy adoption in Texas contrasted against a failed effort ...
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Organizational Citizenship Behaviors Among Public Employees In Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico

Organizational Citizenship Behaviors Among Public Employees In Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Mexico

Date: December 2011
Creator: León Cázares, Filadelfo
Description: This study develops a theoretical framework to examine the major dimensions of transformational leadership style (TLS), public service motivation (PSM), organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), and public organization performance (POP). It is hypothesized that when employees perceived a public organization is practicing a transformational leadership style, they are likely to have a favorable view on the performance of their organization, but the effect is indirect and mediated by OCB. At the same time, if employees have a strong desire to serve and improve the welfare of others, they are likely to perform beyond their job requirements and thus, likely to express a positive view on the organizational performance. A structural equation modeling was used to examine 1,016 public employees (67.7% response rate) in the Guadalajara metropolitan area, Mexico i.e., concerning their perceptions about leadership style, motivation to serve in the public sector, citizenship behaviors, and public organizational performance. The results suggest that if Mexican public employees perceived their leaders to adopt a transformational leadership style, they were likely to have a favorable view on the performance of their organization (direct effect); and that, the effect is mediated by their tendency to engage in activities that would contribute to the functioning of ...
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