Exploring the dynamics
problematic for local governments when using NIMS for
Based on the interviews, maintaining positive informal and
formal relationships with all current and potential partners is a
good way to generate positive interactive experiences and
encourage collaboration. It is believed that collaboration can be
jeopardized, or become difficult to develop, if the relationship
becomes disharmonious. Local emergency managers also agree
that hazard recognition and disaster severity encourage local
governments and communities to pay more attention and invest
their resources in EM. Once a large scale disaster happens and
cannot be handled locally, the local government will seek
outside support and resources through vertical and horizontal
collaborations to deal with the disaster.
Although rationales behind each type of collaboration may
vary, both county and city EM managers recognize the
importance and necessity of vertical and horizontal
collaborations and view collaboration as a critical part of their
job. They view themselves like a conductor in a symphony who
does not actually play any instrument but is responsible to
ensure that the team members to play a beautiful melody.
Collaboration is identified as the foundation of EM.
Table 3 summarizes and compares the above interview
findings with the proposed framework. The framework
provides a preliminarily and theoretical perspective for
exploring the dynamics of local EM collaboration. However,
the rationales and activities among these three types of
collaborations in local EM are diverse. Therefore, each driver
provides a different explanation of the interview findings.
Collaboration has become one of the most important
research topics in EM and general public management studies.