UNT Theses and Dissertations - 25 Matching Results

Search Results

The Effects of Age-Graded Associations on the Political Activism of the Elderly

Description: Although the graying of the American society has been well documented, the question as to whether the elderly populace will indeed become a political factor has yet to be determined. Some studies indicate that the elderly will soon develop the consensus needed for political action; other studies counter that the elderly will never be a viable political factor. Among the determinants listed as influencing the political participation equation are standard socioeconomic variables (e.g., race, social status, education, and income). These factors have been studied extensively (Campbell 1960; Key 1950; Milbrath 1965; Nagel 1987; Rose 1965). Trela recently added an item that could possibly influence the political activism of the elderly: membership in age-graded associations. This study addresses the questions raised by Trela (1971), namely, whether age-graded associations influence the political activity of senior citizens, and if so, in what direction elderly participation is swayed. Unlike previous reports, the preliminary data gathered for this study suggest that the age-graded associations of the elderly cannot accurately predict their political activism.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Mata, Joe I. (Joe Israel)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prospects for Privatization of the Turkish Telecommunications System

Description: Turkey is considering privatizing its telecommunications system. Any developing country must analyze whether its economic, social, and institutional environment is appropriate for the privatization of a utility. The purposes of this study are (1) to establish a model to assist policy makers, (2) to analyze whether Turkey meets the prerequisites for telecommunications privatization, and (3) to provide Turkish leaders pragmatic policy alternatives pertaining to privatization of the Turkish Telecommunications system.High inflation rate, weakness of the private sector and the lack of regulatory regime are the major impediments facing Turkey's privatization efforts. Turkey might consider several options including (1) not privatizing at all, (2) retaining public ownership of the network operations while privatizing only the physical equipment market, or (3) following the British privatization model.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Eroglu, Ismail
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Age on Public Sector Managerial Evaluations

Description: As the American population ages, the issues of aging and work have gradually come to the forefront. An older and increasingly diverse workforce has raised concerns over job performance, labor costs, and alternative work demands. At the same time, evidence indicates that older workers continue to experience extensive labor market problems due to false assumptions on the part of managers about the limiting effect of age on employee performance. The public sector's ability to respond to age-related issues in the workplace has largely been ignored by both public practitioners and researchers. This study addresses the questions of whether age negatively influences public personnel decisions, and if so, whether such influences adversely affect the treatment of older workers. The results of the survey indicate that public managers are susceptible to age bias when making personnel decisions.
Date: August 1993
Creator: McCaghren, Kathy L. (Kathy Lea)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Public School Choice : An Impact Assessment

Description: The goal of this thesis is to understand the consequences of educational choice in the public school system. The research takes place in San Antonio, Texas. The research encompasses meaningful comparisons between three sets of low income students and their families: 1) those who chose to remain in their attendance-zone school, 2) those who enrolled in the multilingual program, and 3) those who applied to the multilingual program but were not admitted because of space limitations.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Davis, Casi G. (Casi Gail)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Barriers Limiting Access to Hospice Care for Elderly African Americans in Amarillo, Texas

Description: This study examines barriers limiting access to hospice care for elderly African Americans. Ethnic background plays a critical role in the development of attitudes, beliefs and expectations related to death and issues surrounding hospice care. The purpose of this study was to identify barriers that may limit access to hospice care for African Americans. A questionnaire was administered to 56 elderly African Americans in three religious settings and an African American senior citizens center. The questionnaire was designed to obtain information concerning African Americans' attitudes toward death and dying; religious beliefs; health beliefs; familiarity with hospice and prospective use of hospice. The results of the study indicate a number of barriers in access to hospice care for African Americans including: hospice knowledge barriers; education/outreach barriers; cultural knowledge barriers related to death/dying values; family/social support barriers; hospice organizational/provider barriers; health care organizational/provider barriers; and reimbursement barriers.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Anthony, Tomagene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of Disaster Professionalism in Mexico: Adding a New Public Management Perspective to Emergency Management

Description: This study investigated the perceptions of emergency managers regarding the degree of emergency management professionalism in Mexico and how it can be improved. The disaster of the Mexico City earthquake of 1985 was used as the starting point for this case study, as the prospects for more-frequent and more-intense disasters lend credence to the need for improved professionalism and, thus, effectiveness among emergency managers in the future. An expansive framework of emergency management professionalism mechanisms (or characteristics) and an additional compilation of new public management components (or values) were devised from the extant literatures found within the respective emergency management and public administration fields. The theory advanced by this study is that by integrating new public management components with emergency management mechanisms, professionalism in Mexico will improve and, thus, emergency managers will become more effective. ualitative field research was the methodology employed and it included interviews with 35 emergency managers in Mexico in corroboration with documentary evidence, to ascertain emergency managers' perceptions of professionalism in Mexico. The findings of this study determined that emergency managers in Mexico are implementing many of the mechanisms of professionalism but fewer new public management components. This study posits that by integrating new public management components with emergency management professionalism mechanisms, professionalism in Mexico will improve and will increase emergency managers' effectiveness.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Urby, Heriberto, Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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. One way to correct this problem is to try and gain a clear understanding of how the evaluation outcome measures are being chosen for Upward Bound. My study accomplished this task.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Holt, Amy C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 in Idaho could not affirm the necessity of policy entrepreneurs for policy adoption but did affirm the necessity of interest group consensus and the role of values. Furthermore, quantitative analysis failed to offer statistically-significant evidence of value indicators, but did suggest that government ideology and political party affiliation may potentially become indicators of the type of medical futility policy that states choose to adopt.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Harvey, Jacqueline Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Strategic Path to Fiscal Sustainability: Revenue Diversification and the Use of Debt By U.S. Municipal Governments

Description: This work explores the relationship between municipal government debt and revenue diversification using a prism of institutional and fiscal interactions, concentrating on revenue fungibility effects over time and on the role of state-imposed constraints. A diversified revenue structure tends to stabilize revenue levels by balancing income-elastic and inelastic revenue sources. The impact of such diversity has been the subject of much research on expenditure and service levels among state and local governments. Considerably less research has been conducted on its potential relationship with debt, although capital financing is a necessary and often-utilized mechanism for funding capital and operational spending for local governments. Since it is well known that debt payments are fixed in the short run, they require sufficient revenue adequacy through economic highs and lows. It is thus argued that local governments with more diversified revenue structures are better able to utilize debt financing since revenue diversity mitigates the risk of borrowing by providing for greater fiscal predictability in the long run. This hypothesis is tested on two samples - a large sample of cities in Massachusetts from 2000 through 2009, as well as a cross-state sample, encompassing the cities from the majority of U.S. states. The findings of both studies provide preliminary evidence on the influence of revenue diversification on the levels of municipal indebtedness. While the Massachusetts study reveals that revenue diversification is, indeed, a statistically significant determinant of debt per capita, which also has an indirect effect on property tax burdens, the cross-state study suggests that revenue diversification has a mitigating impact on certain state-imposed fiscal rules, further adding to its weight as a strategic financial management tool. Both studies also reiterate the importance of such fiscal capacity factors as fund balances, intergovernmental revenue, and the size of government, while also revealing some new interaction patterns ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Maleckaite, Vaida
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community Resilience in Thailand: a Case Study of Flood Response in Nakhonsawan City Municipality

Description: Natural disasters such as flooding often affect vast areas and create infinite demands that need to be addressed in the same time. The wide scopes and severe impacts of such catastrophes often exceed, if not overwhelm, capacity of the national government to handle. In such a situation, communities such as cities and neighborhoods need to rely on their own capacity (resources, strategies, and expertise) to respond to disaster impacts at least until external assistance can be reached. Thus, studying how communities can be resilient to the impacts of natural disasters is important because this would enhance their ability to respond to the next disaster better. Within the context of great flooding in Thailand in 2011, this dissertation investigated the factors that generated or enhanced resilience of flood stricken-communities in Thailand. Nakhonswan City Municipality was selected as the research site. Qualitative research methods were employed in this study. Data were collected using in-depth interview and focus group. Thirty-six participants (28 for in-depth interview and 8 for focus group interview) from various organizations were recruited using snowball and purposive sampling strategies. Interview data from the field research were transcribed, translated from Thai language to English, and then analyzed using open coding and focused coding strategies. Analyses of in-depth interview data revealed eight conceptual themes representing factors that constituted resilience of Nakhonsawan City Municipality, as the leading organization responded to the flood. These factors are: availability of resources for resilience; managerial adaptability; crisis leadership; quality workforce; knowledge sharing and learning; organizational preparedness; organizational integration; and sectoral integration. In addition, findings from the focus group interview with members of three strong neighborhoods found eight factors that helped these neighborhoods respond effectively to the flood crisis. They included: self-reliance; cooperation; local wisdom; preparedness; internal support; external support; crisis adaptability; and pre-disaster social cohesion. This dissertation ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Khunwishit, Somporn
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparative Study of the Effects of State Grant Reductions on Local Expenditures: Empirical Studies in Massachusetts and Colorado Municipalities

Description: State grants are perceived to mitigate the fiscal disparities among local governments in providing services. However, cutbacks in state grants as a result of changes in state grant policy in different states affect local expenditures dedicated to maintaining service provisions to citizens. This dissertation constructs a theoretical model to explain the extent to which and the ways in which types of state grants, revenue diversity, and form of local government impact local spending and the provision of public programs when local governments experience cuts in state grants. The dissertation also argues that when facing state grant cuts, local governments with a council-manager form of government and with higher revenue diversity will experience reduced change in local expenditures and that decreases in state categorical grants will lead to more cuts in distributive program expenditures. Given the diversity of state and local arrangements, this dissertation conducts a comparative and panel data study to test the hypotheses in 351 and 271 municipalities in Massachusetts and Colorado, respectively, in 2000 through 2008. The empirical results indicate that the form of government and the degree of revenue diversification have a greater impact on the local spending behaviors in Colorado than in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, decreases in state categorical grants lead to more cuts in distributive program expenditures in both Massachusetts and Colorado. This dissertation concludes that the theoretical model explains the effects of state grant reductions on local spending better in Colorado than it does in Massachusetts.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Chaicharoen, Siwaporn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Utilizing Traditional Environmental Knowledge in Industrialized Nations to Assist in Disaster Evacuations

Description: Using traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), which is typically reserved for understanding how indigenous societies function successfully, and applying this to developed countries' ideas of disaster planning and response, emergency planners, public officials, and lay-persons can gain an understanding of their environment. Stories, history, education, and The waterborne evacuation of Lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001 provides a backdrop with which to test the tenets of TEK in a developed nation setting. This dissertation has found that TEK was effective when used by a developed nation and should be integrated into the current disaster system in the US.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Lea, Brandi M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 stabilize spending during economic downturns. Cities pursue strategies that help maintain fiscal sustainability. Furthermore, it is discovered that interaction of fund balance and revenue diversity on municipal expenditures is stronger as the level of revenue diversity decreases. This interaction has a large effect during periods of economic downturns as compared to periods of economic growth.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Wachira, David W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Local Governments’ Debt Financing Strategies

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 we collected among municipal governments in Texas, we conducted two empirical analyses. The first analysis tests the hypothesis that Certificates of Obligation have higher borrowing costs compared to GO bonds, since a GO bond is often issued under the pledge of the bond issuers’ full-faith credit and taxing authority. We employed a two-stage least square analysis to test the general proposition in the state of Texas. Based on 741 Certificates of Obligation and GO bonds issued between 2008 and 2011, our analyses show that Certificates of Obligation are likely to incur True Interest Costs (TIC) similar to those of GO ...
Date: December 2013
Creator: Lung, Wei-Liang
Partner: UNT Libraries

Delaying Evacuation: Risk Communication in Mobilizing Evacuees

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 perceptions of evacuees can be related to their exposure, attention, and understanding of the risk information. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that practitioners pay more attention on the residents’ understanding of different types of risks, their abilities to process the risk information, as well as the means information is delivered. Therefore the public authorities should be more active in protecting evacuees’ properties and assets, as well as encourage evacuees to take closer shelters to avoid potential costs on road. Also the community should be more involved in mobilizing evacuation, as long as social cues can assist evacuees to better ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Li, Xiangyu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Spontaneous Planning During the North Texas April 3, 2012, Tornadoes: an Assessment of Decision-making Processes

Description: The primary purpose of this research program is to confirm the spontaneous planning behavior in post-disaster operations while at the same time contribute to the development of the concept in a tornado type disaster. An additional goal also includes examining how the process takes place in resolving unanticipated problems as a disaster unfolds. This study uses qualitative methodology which is case study to probe the concept of spontaneous planning behavior to solve unexpected challenges as a disaster develops. Specifically, semi-structured, open-ended questions were utilized to collect data from stakeholders in eleven functional organizations in three impacted cities during the North Texas April 3, 2012, tornadoes. Findings indicate that debris removal and ensuring public safety, search and rescue, securing damaged neighborhoods, activation of emergency operations centers, damage assessment, restoration of communication system, public relations and media, and volunteer and donation management activities appear to have benefited from spontaneous planning behavior. Further findings suggest that the driving forces behind the phenomenon were gathering valuable new information, learning opportunity within the disaster, relative freedom and significant high degree of discretion, response was innovative with flexibility, and solutions waiting for problems features proposed in the integrated decision-making model (IDMM). However, it was uncovered that interview respondents’ answers tend to indicate that mixed organizational structures helped in problem resolutions rather than just flat organizational structure as some decision making literature may suggest. Analysis of this decision-making model expanded the understanding of how spontaneous planning behavior took place in resolving unforeseen problems in post-disaster operations. This research project confirmed the concept of spontaneous planning in the North Texas tornadoes as well as suggesting how it occurred. The research program validates spontaneous planning behavior in tornadoes; advances and develops the concept of spontaneous planning; increases understanding, description, and management of post-disaster operations; improves emergency management operations; promotes ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Peters, Ekong Johnson
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Saitgalina, Marina
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 describe five obstacles that are categorized as internal organizational challenges and two obstacles that are categorized as outside organizational challenges. The Disinterested Stakeholders Challenge is rated as a more significant obstacle by participants from the Non-Fire emergency management office category. Emergency managers describe the use of four strategies for overcoming hazard mitigation challenges, and the ability to master these strategies has implications for achieving hazard mitigation success. Third, emergency managers define a tangible and intangible category of hazard mitigation success, and each category is comprised of distinct indicators. Lastly, the organizational characteristics of emergency management offices had significant relationships with ...
Date: December 2014
Creator: Samuel, Carlos
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 are generally consistent with the theory presented in this dissertation.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Jaikampan, Kraiwuth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determinants of Citizens’ 311 Use Behaviors: 311 Citizen-initiated Contact, Contact Channel Choice, and Frequent Use

Description: Facing increasingly complex policy issues and diminishing citizen satisfaction with government and service performance, managing the quality of citizen relationship management has become a main challenge for public managers. Solutions to complex policy problems of service performance and low level of citizen participation often must be developed by encouraging citizens to make their voices heard through the various participation mechanisms. Reflecting on this need, the municipal governments in the U.S. have developed centralized customer systems for citizen relationship management. 311 centralized customer system (named 311 in this study) has the functions of citizen-initiated contact, service-coproduction, and transaction, and many local governments launch 311 to maintain or enhance their relationship with the public. Using 311 is an easy and free technically for citizens, but ensuring some degree of citizen engagement and citizens’ 311 use has been challenging for local public managers of municipalities. Despite calls for the importance of 311 in the service and information delivery process, fair treatment and access to use of governmental information, citizen participation, government responsiveness, and citizen satisfaction, to the best of our understanding, no empirical studies explore citizens’ 311 behaviors in the micro and individual level in the field of public administration. This dissertation provides a comprehensive understanding of the 311 centralized customer system, helps local public managers know citizens’ perceived perspectives toward the operation of 311, and assists these managers to develop an effective 311 system in municipalities. The dissertation’s main purpose is to clarify the importance of 311 to citizen relationship management and provide insights into citizens’ 311 use behaviors. More specifically, this dissertation tries to answers the following questions: a. Why do citizens use 311? Do the various groups of the population access and use 311 in San Francisco equally? If not, what factors influence the citizens’ 311 citizen-initiated contact behaviors? b. ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Wu, Wei-Ning
Partner: UNT Libraries

Explaining Economic Development Strategies Using Product Differentiation Theory: a Reconceptualization of Competition Among City Governments

Description: Local governments do not operate in a vacuum. Instead, they are part of a complex “polycentric” system of governments where politically autonomous and self-ruled cities compete with one another over taxable wealth. Missing from the scholarship on metropolitan governance is an understanding of the factors driving competition among local governments. The purpose of this dissertation is to fill this gap by examining how interjurisdictional competition over economic development impacts a city’s choice of strategies for attracting business and residential investment and how those strategies affect revenue collection. First, this dissertation examines whether cities, knowing the economic development strategies of their neighboring cities, pursue similar types of businesses? Or do cities strategically target different types of businesses as a way to avoid the negative consequences of competition? Second, this dissertation explores what impact the decision to pursue similar or dissimilar businesses has on the revenue collection of local governments. Using spatial data analysis to analyze a sample of 2,299 cities, this dissertation finds general support for both theoretical frameworks presented. Overall, the findings from both analyses provide unique insights into metropolitan governance and interjurisdictional competition.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Overton, Michael R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigating Communication and Warning Channels to Enhance Crowd Management Strategies: a Study of Hajj Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

Description: The global increase in the number of mass gatherings and crowded events has brought with it new emergencies and unintended consequences for public administrators and first responders. Crowd managers attempt to overcome these challenges by enhancing operations, alleviating financial losses, keeping event organizers safe from liability and, most importantly, keeping the attendees safe. Effective communication among and between officials and guests has been identified as a key element in this process. However, there is a lack of risk communication studies, especially about heterogeneous crowds that congregate at religious events. With this gap in mind, this research aims to investigate the use of major communication channels available and/or preferred by Muslim pilgrims in Makkah, Saudi Arabia during Hajj to gauge their effectiveness in communicating risk information. This annual religious pilgrimage was chosen because it attracts over 2 million pilgrims from more than 140 countries, most of whom speak different languages and belong to different cultures but perform the same rituals at the same time. This dissertation seeks to answer three broad research questions: “what are the most popular communication channels used by pilgrims,” “what are the weaknesses of the current communication strategies,” and “what can be done to improve risk communication among pilgrims, and between pilgrims and authorities to enhance crowd control and crowd management strategies.” The protective action decision model (PADM) is used as the theoretical framework to understand the influence of six factors (environmental cues, social cues, information sources, channel access and preferences, warning messages, and receiver characteristics) on risk communication. In collaboration with the Transportation and Crowd Management Center of Research Excellence (TCMCORE) of Saudi Arabia, a convenience sampling strategy was employed to interview 348 pilgrims in the Prophet’s Mosque area, during the Hajj of 2013. The surveys were conducted in Arabic and English and included pilgrims from ...
Date: May 2015
Creator: Taibah, Hassan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sources of Organizational Resilience During the 2012 Korean Typhoons: an Institutional Collective Action Framework

Description: The objective of this proposed research is to test whether interorganizational collaboration contributes to the ability of an organization to bounce back swiftly from disasters. The research questions are examined from the Institutional Collective Action (ICA) perspective. The general argument of this dissertation is that organizational resilience can be explained by interorganizational collaboration. The ICA framework, specifically, identifies two general network structures to explain strategies that can be adopted to minimize collaboration risks: bonding and bridging structures. This dissertation focuses on how governmental and nongovernmental organizations in South Korea collaborated. The data was collected from the southeastern tip of the Korean Peninsula in August of 2012, and January of 2013. The 2012 Typhoons devastated the area after the first data set was collected in August 2012, causing the loss of estimated US$ 730 million and 29 fatalities. Afterward, the second survey was administrated in January of 2013 to gauge respondents’ views on how organizations responded to the disasters. This dissertation consists of three essays. The first essay presents a brief overview and assessment of the current research on resilience. The second essay empirically tests the sources of organization resilience. The third essay examines the dynamic nature of interorganizational ties by employing stochastic actor-based models. The findings show how organizations prefer to not coordinate with other organizations even though this could reduce their strains during a disaster. The findings also suggest that organizations that operate in higher risk areas or participate in joint full-scale exercises before a disaster form interorganizational ties afterward.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Jung, Kyujin
Partner: UNT Libraries