UNT Theses and Dissertations - 30 Matching Results

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The Adoption, Management, and Performance of Local Government Investment Pools: A Comparative Analysis of State Practices

Description: This dissertation examines the factors influencing a state’s decision to adopt a local government investment pool (LGIP), the institutional arrangements used in managing them, and the effect of the institutional types on LGIP performance. The dissertation extends the policy adoption theory with insights from investment theory to demonstrate that management credibility influences the likelihood of a state’s LGIP adoption. The study finds that the quality of financial management, the quality of professional leadership, proximate state neighbors who have previously adopted an LGIP, and economic factors determine a state’s proclivity to policy adoption. The dissertation also describes the institutional arrangements used in managing LGIPs and develops typologies based on their institutional arrangements. The dissertation compares LGIPs depending on the risk aversion of their institutional arrangements. The research extends the risk-return tradeoff in investment theory to LGIP institutional arrangements. The empirical findings show that LGIP institutional arrangement that has greater risk report higher performance. The dissertation also finds that competition in the LGIP market due to multiple vendors, and periods of economic recession account for higher performance because of higher risk-taking behaviors associated with them. This dissertation promotes public funds investment laws that emphasize prudent management of government finances and guides managers of the public purse on the types of institutional choices that optimize returns with minimal risk.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Nukpezah, Julius Atsu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Age Friendly Cities: The Bureaucratic Responsiveness Effects on Age Friendly Policy Adoption

Description: Challenging a long-held attachment to the medical model, this research develops a cultural model placing local governments at the center of policy making and refocusing policy attention on mobility, housing, the built environment and services. To examine the phenomenon of age friendly policy adoption by cities and the magnitude of adoption, a 21-question web-based survey was administered to a sample of 1,050 cities from the U.S. Census having a population over 10,000 and having at least 14% of their population aged 65 years and over. The goal of the questionnaire was to help identify what kind of policy objectives cities establish to facilitate the opportunity for older adults to live healthy and independent lives in their communities as they age. Multiple linear and ordinal regression models examined the likelihood of policy action by cities and provide evidence as to why some cities support more age friendly policy actions than others. Evidence illustrates theoretical advancement providing support for a cultural model of aging. The cultural model includes multiple factors including bureaucratic responsiveness reflected in the management values of the administration. Findings show variation in the integration of a cultural awareness of aging in the municipality's needs assessment, strategic goals, citizen engagement strategies, and budgetary principles. Cities with a cultural awareness of aging are more likely to adopt age friendly policies. Findings also provide support for the argument that the public administrator is not the driving sole factor in decision making. A shared spaced with mobilized citizen need of individuals 65 and over is identified.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Keyes, Laura Marie
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An Analysis of the Economic and Institutional Factors Affecting Recovery by Local Governments from Huricanes

Description: This dissertation examines the impact of major hurricanes on changes in GDP for counties in four states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The analysis examines the effectiveness of intergovernmental financing for major hurricanes between 2000 and 2014. It also examines whether institutional proximity of the disaster management function to the Governor's Office and the career status of the director affect the speed of recovery from the disaster. The analysis also assesses the impact that a counties's prior experience at dealing with disasters has on the speed of recovery.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Short, Jesseca Elizabeth
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

Citizen Involvement and Law Enforcement: Does Coproduction Affect Organizational Efficiency and Organizational Effectiveness?

Description: Citizen involvement in the production and delivery of public service has been a long time topic of interest and controversial debate among scholars. Essentially, the belief has been that if citizens are actively involved in the process, public organizations and communities benefit in numerous ways that will ultimately lead to increased citizen satisfaction. The purpose of this research is to explore the relationship between citizen involvement in the production of public safety and security and its effects on organizational efficiency and effectiveness of law enforcement agencies. To test the assumption that citizen involvement is positively correlated to organizational success and organizational efficiency of law enforcement agencies, a citizen involvement index was developed and used as the independent variable in ordinary least square regression (OLS) analysis. Three separate models are developed to measure the impact of citizen involvement on law enforcement. Findings obtained through bivariate and multivariate analyses indicate mixed results. Bivariate analysis revealed that citizen involvement was negatively correlated to organizational efficiency while no statistically significant correlation was found in multiple regressions. In addition, through bivariate analyses, citizen involvement was positively correlated with crime rates reported to city police departments, whereas multivariate regression analyses indicated that citizen involvement does not have a statistically significant impact on crime rates. Both analyses, however, provided support for the positive impact of citizen involvement on crime clearance rates. Finally, findings suggested that citizen involvement in public organizations and its effects on the production and delivery of public goods and services are overestimated from the perspective of law enforcement.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Gultekin, Sebahattin
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Civic Roles of Neighborhood Associations in Seoul, Korea: Implications for Urban Governance

Description: This dissertation answers three research questions: "What differences and similarities exist among neighborhood associations in the United States, Japan, and Seoul, South Korea?," "What are the civic roles of neighborhood associations in apartment complexes in Seoul, South Korea?," and "What factors promote neighborhood associations to play civic roles in urban governance?" To answer the first question, this research analyzes the purposes, governance structures, roles, and legal substance of neighborhood associations by reviewing previous studies, public and legal documents, court cases in the U.S., and by conducting interviews. To answer the second and the third questions, a 2016 survey, "Understanding the Roles of Neighborhood Associations in Urban Governance" was conducted with 154 representatives of neighborhood associations in Seoul. Social capital theory, government failure theory, and third party government theory were used to create hypotheses that test proposed relationships about neighborhood interactions, community characteristics, and the civic roles played by neighborhood associations. The findings show that neighborhood associations have adopted several roles including service provider, partner in public service delivery for local government, and advocate for residents in urban governance. The findings also show that social capital created by neighborhood interactions and community characteristics facilitates neighborhood associations to play civic roles in urban governance.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kim, Jung Wook
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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

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

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

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

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 gas well permitting process. The investigation includes a complete census of 185 approved gas wells from four North Texas cities between the years 2002-2012; 20 interviews comprised of city officials and drilling operators; and archival records such as gas well site plans, ordinances, on-line government documents and other public information. The findings reveal that zoning institutions are associated with a 15% longer gas well setback than siting institutions and institutions without waivers are associated with a 20% longer gas well setback than institutions with waiver rules. The practical implications suggest that citizen participation has a positive effect on public safety ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Long, Laurie C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effective Public Service Collaboration: The Role of Leadership and Nonprofit Organizations in Homeless Services

Description: This dissertation investigates factors that facilitate effective collaboration of networks functioning within the context of a federal homeless policy—the HEARTH Act of 2009. While the federal legislation encourages networked collaboration to address the incidence of homelessness, not all networks are effective in achieving their intended purpose. Using a nationwide sample of homeless networks, this research explores the role that nonprofit organizations play in the collaborative process and models the effect of individual leadership, nonprofit-led network, and community nonprofit capacity on two levels of network effectiveness—network and community—using multivariate regression modeling. Results indicate that nonprofits play a significant role as participants of the collaboration process and as leading agents of homeless networks. In addition, the variation in network effectiveness is explained by multidimensional factors.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Valero, Jesus N
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.
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Date: May 2015
Creator: Overton, Michael R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Volunteer Management in the Public Sector: What are the Challenges in Managing Volunteers in Local Government?

Description: To effectively provide services to citizens, local governments have had to be creative. One approach has been the creation of volunteer programs to meet demands and expanding needs. Volunteer programs hold promise for creating meaningful engagement opportunities for citizens. However, limited organizational capacity, inadequate volunteer management practices, and difficulties in maintaining volunteer retention are concerns plaguing local government volunteer programs. Volunteer programs are often structured around a set of best practices thought to be necessary for ensuring the retention of volunteers. To apply best practices across the board would suggest that local government volunteer programs are similar in organizational structure, budget size, amount of citizen engagement, accountability concerns, and that they adopt similar bureaucratic procedures. Using human relations and bureaucratic theories as theoretical frameworks, four research questions are asked and answered: 1) What are the managerial and political challenges in volunteer management and retention for local government volunteer coordinators?, 2) What challenges are local governments' volunteer coordinators facing in using volunteer management practices?, 3) What strategies are helpful in retaining volunteers in local government volunteerism?, and 4) What challenges do local government volunteer coordinators face in engaging citizens? Data collection for this qualitative study was conducted using online surveys and telephone semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that creating meaningful work for volunteers and coordinating this work with local government managers was an important "best practices" challenge. Although local government volunteer programs also have a mission of engaging citizens, the practices actually used may directly conflict with their mission. Many volunteer management practices are supporting organizational goals rather than supporting the needs of volunteers. The study findings suggest that the best practices used by local governments are not given equal weight and "one size does not fit all." Instead, local governments must prioritize their practices carefully.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Sillah, Aminata A
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Surveillance Technology on the Behaviors of Municipal Police Departments

Description: Citizen complaints about inappropriate use of force indicate negative police-public relations, unresponsive police services, and the unresponsiveness of police management to citizens' concerns. However, the effective delivery of key policing services depends on the performance of individual police officers. Surveillance technology can monitor and control the behavior of officers, ensuring that police officers provide high quality policing services that meet the needs of citizens. Examples of surveillance technology such as in-car cameras and CCTV can be used as an administrative tool to respond to citizen complaints by police chief executives. This research examines the effect of surveillance technology on the behavior of municipal police departments that is operationalized as the number of citizen complaints that were filed against municipal police departments. This research also examines the impact of surveillance technology on dismissed and sustained complaints by using 511 large municipal police departments in the U.S. from Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) 2003 dataset. Three different models are developed to evaluate the impact of in-car cameras and CCTV on the citizen complaints and their dispositions. Two ordinary least square regression (OLS) models and a Heckman selection model are used to analyze the data. The Heckman selection model is utilized to correct for selection bias in truncated data for sustained complaints after log transformation. The results suggest that the use of surveillance technology by the police is necessary, but insufficient, in reducing the number of complaints. The finding suggests that videotaped evidence, recorded by surveillance technology, increased the number of convictions of accused officers in municipal police departments. The analysis also suggests that municipal police departments that used CCTV only in 2003 received a higher number of citizen complaints, in comparison to municipal police departments without CCTV, both in 2000 and 2003. No evidence was found to indicate that surveillance ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Ulkemen, Sinan
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

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

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

An Investigation of the Impact of Social Vulnerability Research on the Practice of Emergency Management

Description: This dissertation examines the extent to which social vulnerability, as studied by researchers across multiple disciplines, has influenced the practice of emergency management at the local level. This study addresses two major research questions to accomplish this goal. First, how do local emergency managers perceive and define social vulnerability? Second, what strategies do local emergency managers employ to reach and meet the needs of socially vulnerable populations? Semi-structured interviews were conducted in person or by phone with a sample of local emergency managers, city managers, and American Red Cross personnel from the Houston - Galveston and the South East Texas regions as defined by the respective Councils of Government. A modified grounded theory approach was used with a constant comparative method to identify themes for each research question. Triangulation was accomplished through secondary census data and supplemental interviews. The interview data reveal that social vulnerability research has had an indirect influence on the practice of emergency management at the local level. This influence is facilitated through state and federal policy, training, and plans development. Based on the interview data, four themes were identified that capture the various ways in which local emergency management officials perceive and define social vulnerability. These include vulnerability as poverty and culture, vulnerability as a lack of security, vulnerability as a moral imperative, and vulnerability as a lack of awareness and knowledge. In terms of strategies employed to address social vulnerability, the data suggest four themes: leaving it to the professionals, bringing in volunteers, leveraging protocols to build buy-in, and fostering flexibility. The findings reveal the importance in closing the knowledge gap between research and practice, because increased damage, harm, and death can occur when the social inequalities of everyday life are not addressed in the planning process by emergency managers. The findings also reveal that ...
Date: August 2017
Creator: Williams, Brian Don
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

Megachurches and Economic Development: A Theoretical Understanding of Church Involvement at the Local Level

Description: Why do megachurches participate in economic development, and who benefits from their participation? Frumkin's framework for understanding nonprofit and voluntary action and extra-role behavior are theories tested to answer these questions. My research employs a mixed-methods research design conducted in two phases. In phase one, I analyze 42 responses to an online survey to provide data about the prevalence and nature of economic development activities offered by megachurches in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Phase two involved 23 semi-structured telephone interviews with megachurch leadership to provide data that explains the rationale for why megachurches offer economic development activities and who benefits. Evidence from this research demonstrates that megachurches are participating in economic development for reasons consistent with both demand-side and supply-side arguments. Findings also show that megachurches take on extra-role behaviors for in response to community expectations and the values of members and staff. Implications for understanding partnership decisions and collaborations between faith-based organizations and local governments are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: English, Ashley E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Needs and Membership in Terrorist Organizations

Description: One key to reducing terrorism may be to understand why individuals join terror groups, and to find ways to meet their needs through alternatives to discourage membership in terrorist organizations. The study introduces the hierarchy of needs framework to capture all previous pieces of explanations on why individuals join terror groups under one big umbrella, in order to see the big picture. It does not do a meta-analysis, but rather tests the framework. This study is designed to find out what perceived needs commonly motivate individuals to join terror groups in general and specific terror groups in particular. The research uses Turkey's terrorism experience as a case study which is supported with data from real terrorist in Turkey. Findings of the descriptive analyses show that majority joined a terror group due to social and affiliative needs. The remaining analyses (bivariate, cross-tabulation and binary logistic regression) show that confitents who perceived esteem and recognition were more likely to become members of other/leftist terror groups, and that rightist terror group members in Turkey tend to have higher education. Education mainly affects a confitent's perception of two needs: social and affiliation and self-actualization. Other demographic variables (age group, region of birth, marital status) die not yield any significant relation with membership in terror groups.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Ekici, Siddik
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 the organization without expecting any kinds of reward (indirect effect). In addition, if employees have a strong motivation to serve in the public sector, they are also likely to have a favorable view on the performance of the organization; and that, the positive effect is mediated by their tendency to act for the goodness of other employees and organizations without expecting some form of reward (indirect effect). A multi-group analysis, based on the hypothesized model, revealed the associations varied across three groups: difference between male and female, places of employment within the public sector (i.e., local or state government), and ...
Date: December 2011
Creator: León Cázares, Filadelfo
Partner: UNT Libraries

Organizational Learning Capacity As a Predictor of Individuals’ Tendency Towards Improvisation in Nonprofit Organizations in Saudi Arabia

Description: The study is undertaken for a more compressive understanding for organizational theory and its applicability to tendency towards improvisation during emergency times among individuals in Non Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Saudi Arabia. The analysis involved an examination of direct effect of learning on tendency towards improvisation and possible mediating effects between organizational learning and tendency towards improvisation among individuals in NPOs, while controlling for key demographic differences (e.g. individuals’ age, education level and years in service, number of full-time staff and volunteers). Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to full-time employees in 13 NPOs in three cities in the western area of Saudi Arabia, namely Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah (N= 304). The main statistical method employed to hypotheses examination was Structural Equation Modeling. The hypothesis examination resulted in three out of five hypnotized paths are to be significant. Two direct relations were interpreted as outcomes of organizational learning, with increases in the level of organizational learning is being positively related to individuals’ self –efficacy and agility. The third significant path interpreted as individuals’ agility is positively related to their tendency to improvise during emergency times, which indicates organizational learning has indirect effect on tendency towards improvisation. Finally, the applicability of organizational learning theory to the field of emergency management and suggestions for future research in light of the findings of this research are also discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Alhumaid, Saleh Mohammad
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