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Exploring the dynamics


resources may be needed by working with other local

government departments to develop comprehensive risk

analyses and emergency planning (Edwards & Goodrich, 2007).

They also need to be familiar with the complex processes of

grant management and be always well-prepared to provide

succinct explanations on how the funds will be spent. Moreover,

they must be equipped with the political skills to communicate

with lawmakers and always comply with local, state, and federal

regulations (McEntire & Dawson, 2007). Put differently,

capable and professional emergency managers can effectively

and successfully achieve their goals, which increases the overall

EM capacity of local governments.

Recent EM research also studies how a manager may

influence collaborative activities through his/her capability and

leadership (McGuire & Silvia, 2010). Gazley (2008) argues that

collaboration often relies on how public managers make

decisions. Bardach (1998) states that leaders are key to creating

interagency collaborative capacities, which is essential for

dealing with possible difficulties when individuals or

organizations exchange their resources and try to work together

for a common purpose. Agranoff and McGuire (2001)

emphasize that the soft guidance power of leaders can stimulate

self-governance in a network, which is different from traditional

command and control in a hierarchical structure.

(F) Past Experience with Partners

Past experience of antagonism or cooperation between

stakeholders is another factor that hinders or facilitates

collaboration (Ansell & Gash, 2008). Connelly et al. (2008)

point out that one’s initial disposition towards cooperation/

collaboration helps determine whether the collaborative process

is successful. Past experience could be a critical factor

influencing the disposition. Experience brings familiarity and

decreases uncertainty. Connelly et al. (2008) argue that if people