Harnessing the power of collaborative relationships to improve national preparedness and responsiveness
Reale, Joseph D.
Croach, Marilyn Cobb
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This thesis focuses on the activities of leading and the elements of partnerships to move a large bureaucratic organization to a higher level of fitness and remain reliable and relevant in keeping the nation prepared to respond to national emergencies and domestic events. The critical elements of leading and partnerships include a combination of building trust, sensemaking, and collaboration with all the activities of leading and partnerships that those elements encompass. This combination creates the basis for collaborative relationships that when used correctly can help organizations to work and lead across boundaries to tackle the wicked problems that face homeland security professionals today. The research for this thesis is exploratory and used the methodology of grounded theory. In addition, a single case was studied through the methodology of participant observation to collect data, which was analyzed to test the theory of collaborative relationships. The analysis demonstrated the importance of relationships in creating collaborative efforts and partnership engagements among the many organizations that must work together during a national emergency. The findings also supported the theory of collaborative relationships and offered examples of how to utilize such relationships in the complex world of homeland security and national preparedness.
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