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Exploring the dynamics


I. Introduction

Studies on emergency management (EM) collaboration

have attracted the attention of many public management

scholars in recent years. These studies are endeavors to develop

the concept of collaborative EM (Kapucu, Arslan, & Demiroz,

2010), recognize the importance of vertical and horizontal

communication, coordination, and collaboration in response to

extreme events (Choi, 2008; Comfort, 2002; Kettl, 2006;

Waugh & Streib, 2006), understand the factors of influence of

EM collaboration (Hicklin, O’Toole, Meier, & Robinson, 2009;

Johnson, Goerdel,


, & Pierce, 2015; Kapucu, Bryer,

Garayev, & Arslan, 2010; McGuire & Silvia, 2010; Reddick,

2008; Simo & Bies, 2007), and study the possible challenges of

EM collaboration (Caruson & MacManus, 2012; Scavo,

Kearney, & Kilroy, 2007). Local governments are arguably the

key actors in the U.S. when providing EM-related functional


Agranoff and McGuire (2003) explained that

collaboration can occur on both vertical and horizontal levels.

Vertical collaboration emphasizes working across levels of

governments within the U.S. federal system, while horizontal

collaboration focuses on local players (who have different

interests) within the community. Collaboration can also happen

across different departments, agencies, and organizations and be

conducted across public, private, and non-profit sectors, giving

rise to different types of collaboration. Studies have suggested

that in general, when forming collaborative relationships,

various crucial factors are in effect (e.g., managerial and

organizational capacity, leadership, resource scarcity,

interdependency, shared beliefs, trust, common purposes,

uncertainties, and past experience of conflicts) (Agranoff &

McGuire, 2001, 2003; Alter & Hage, 1993; Ansell & Gash,

2008; Bryson, Crosby, & Stone, 2006; Connelly, Zhang, &