A new role for emergency management : fostering trust to enhance collaboration in complex adaptive emergency response systems
Currao, Thomas J.
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In spite of publications such as the 9/11 Commission Report and a revised incident command system, effective interagency collaboration at emergency incidents within New York City has not been fully achieved. This thesis explores how the development of these collaborative efforts may be dependent on social factors, such as inter-organizational trust, and whether emergency management agencies are well positioned to assume a leadership role in fostering and implementing trust-building programs in the furtherance of collaborative agency partnerships. The methodology for this study involved data collection and thematic analysis derived from an interview process, which involved senior management of seven public safety agencies, in order to draw conclusions on the role of trust and provide recommended strategies for fostering inter-organizational trust. The conclusions drawn from the following research support the concept that trust, operates as a catalyst in the fostering of inter-organizational collaborative efforts, enhancing the components of effective interagency partnerships, such as communication, as well as providing for increased problem solving capacities. Additionally, that the "leadership in building trust" concept is complex, primarily reliant on establishing a trust in the collaborative process itself, and embraces the need for a collective synthesis of various agency skills to effectively meet homeland security challenges.
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