Matching Items (78)

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An Examination of Boards and Commissions

Description

This thesis explores managerial problems and recommendations to improve the efficiency and transparency of roughly 220 different boards and commissions currently active in the state of Arizona. Research for this

This thesis explores managerial problems and recommendations to improve the efficiency and transparency of roughly 220 different boards and commissions currently active in the state of Arizona. Research for this thesis was gathered while serving as an intern in Governor Doug Ducey's office, as well as a close examination of state statues, interviews, and supplemental sources. Research indicated that there are a few major areas of concern among the boards: the use of technology, transparency, lobbyists, board politics, and methods of centralization and decentralization. These major areas highlight the challenges that these offices face and can help inform the way solutions are created. Major findings from these areas of interest include: a need for greater use of technological resources, a need for increased transparency, the reasoning behind the new system for hiring lobbyists, the problems and possible solutions associated with board politics, the nuances of operating 90/10 licensing boards, possible changes to the operation of 90/10 licensing boards, the benefits and negatives to different methods of centralization and decentralization. Taking these findings into account, a few recommendations are developed to help enhance the operations of the state office and the boards and commissions. Beyond these recommendations, simply having a greater understanding of the operations behind the state office and the boards and commissions benefits everyone involved.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

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Leadership Skills for Public and Private Sector HR Leaders: Does the Leadership Skills STRATAPLEX Hold?

Description

Leadership, as a field of study, has suffered under the dialectic between an ephemerality which keeps the true nature of leadership difficult to quantify and an ardent desire to have

Leadership, as a field of study, has suffered under the dialectic between an ephemerality which keeps the true nature of leadership difficult to quantify and an ardent desire to have leadership fully understood so that societal institutions may improve. It is the primary focus of this research to view leadership as the collection of skills that an individual develops over time which allows them to demonstrate leadership ability regardless of their actual position within an organization. Through a review of the leadership skills literature, a potentially unifying framework for understanding and measuring leadership skills was extrapolated: Mumford, Campion, and Morgeson’s Leadership Skills STRATAPLEX (2007). In order to determine the ability of the framework to serve as a unified model between the divergent characteristics of the public and private sectors, a limited replication study was performed on a targeted sample of Human Resources (HR) leaders in the public and private sectors. The study consisted of a twenty-three-question survey which captured the HR leaders’ years of experience, sector type (sector of employment), and their self-rated measurement of the twenty-one leadership skills needed to perform in their position. Through the limited replication study, it was found that there existed no statistically significant difference between the sector type and any of the twenty-one leadership skills within this replication study. Although it should be noted that some of the leadership skills did approach statistical significance, a more robust replication of the STRATAPLEX for the explicit purpose of determining a relationship between sector type and the twenty-one leadership skills would prove useful in determining the veracity of these results. The results of this study serve to doubly inform leadership researchers of the possibility of creating a unified leadership skills framework as well as demonstrating to organizational leaders the value in producing leadership training which models this framework as its foundation for all leadership positions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Accomplishments and challenges of the round three federal empowerment zone program

Description

The Empowerment Zones were created in 1993 under Clinton's administration, demonstrating a commitment to solving tough socio-economic problems in distressed communities. The main objective associated with this program was economic

The Empowerment Zones were created in 1993 under Clinton's administration, demonstrating a commitment to solving tough socio-economic problems in distressed communities. The main objective associated with this program was economic recovery of distressed communities by creating jobs and providing various services to the indigenous populations. The designation of the Empowerment Zones went in three rounds (1994, 1998, and 2001), and although the types and amounts of federal incentives varied across rounds, the four principles around which the program originated remain unchanged: strategic vision for change, community based partnerships, economic opportunity, and sustainable community development. Since its inception, the Empowerment Zones program has been implemented in 30 urban and 10 rural communities in 27 states across the U.S. Two central questions lead the research of this dissertation project: 1) What have been the main accomplishments of the round three federal Empowerment Zones program in Tucson? 2) What have been the main challenges of the round three federal Empowerment Zones program in Tucson? By using a case study research design and various techniques for data collection and analysis (including the program package Atlas.ti), this study examined the accomplishments and the challenges associated with the round three designated Empowerment Zone in Tucson. Evidence was collected from multiple sources, including 24 interviews, over 60 local newspaper articles, relevant documentation, annual performance reports, and other sources. The analysis reveals that the program's implementation in Tucson was strong in the beginning, but after two years, the earlier success started to fade quickly. The shortcomings of program design became evident during the implementation phase and further in the inability of the administration to collect relevant data to demonstrate the program's success. The consequences of the inability to provide data for program evaluation influenced the enthusiasm of the administrators and program partners, and weakened the political support. The reduction in the grant component contributed to overemphasis of the business development component thereby ignoring most community development aspects essential for the success of the program in Tucson. This study did not find evidence for the claim that round three of the empowerment zones program based on federal tax incentives contributes to the creation of new jobs and the attraction of new business in economically deprived communities in Tucson.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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The federal-local nexus in immigration enforcement policy: an evaluation of the secure communities program

Description

This study analyzes how current U.S. immigration enforcement policy has been carried out, specifically under the implementation of the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. Paying special attention to the enforcement-only policy

This study analyzes how current U.S. immigration enforcement policy has been carried out, specifically under the implementation of the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. Paying special attention to the enforcement-only policy hysteria and immigration patchwork trend since the 2000s, this study has the following research questions: (1) whether S-Comm has faithfully implemented enforcement actions for removing "dangerous" criminal noncitizens; (2) how counties with different immigration perspectives have responded to such an immigration enforcement program; and (3) whether the implementation of S-Comm has really made local communities safer as in the program goal.

For analysis, 541 counties were selected, and their noncitizen enforcement results under S-Comm were analyzed with 5 time points, covering a 13-month period (Dec. 2011 - Jan. 2013) with longitudinal data analyses. In spite of the rosy advertisement of this program, analysis of S-Comm showed a very different picture. Unlike the federal immigration agency's promise of targeting dangerous criminal noncitizens, 1 in 4 noncitizen removals were for noncriminal violations, and more than half of noncitizen deportations were for misdemeanor charges and immigration violations in the name of "criminal aliens." Based on latent class analysis, three distinct subgroups of counties having different immigration enforcement policy perspectives were extracted, and there have been huge local variations over time on two key intergovernmental enforcement actions under the implementation of S-Comm: immigration detainer issuances and noncitizen deportations. Finally, unlike the federal immigration agency's "immigrant-crime nexus" assumption for legitimating the implementation of S-Comm, no significant and meaningful associations between these two factors were found. With serious conflicts and debates among policy actors on the implementation of S-Comm, this program was finally terminated in November 2014; although, the essence of the policy continues under a different name.

A series of results from this study indicate that the current enforcement-only policy approach has been wrongfully implemented, and fundamental reconsideration of immigration policy should be made. Enforcement-focused immigration policy could not solve fundamental immigration-related problems, including why noncitizens immigrate and how they should be dealt with as humans. More rational and humane approaches to dealing with immigration should be discussed at the national and local levels.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Revenue strategies of US states under conditions of economic and political stress: revenues diversification 1980 to 2011

Description

This dissertation assesses the impact of revenue diversification on state revenue growth and volatility and then, the economic, political and institutional factors that predict diversification. Previous studies, taking advice from

This dissertation assesses the impact of revenue diversification on state revenue growth and volatility and then, the economic, political and institutional factors that predict diversification. Previous studies, taking advice from modern portfolio theory, argue that diversifying a revenue portfolio can stabilize volatility and even lead to faster rates of growth over time. However, levels of diversification are not assigned randomly. Rather, differences among states in diversification might be a consequence of differences in states such as electoral cycles and the presence and strictness of tax limitations. Thus, the research question is: Whether or to what extent has diversification increased revenue growth and decreased volatility when the endogeneity of diversification is considered? Using two-stage least squares and fixed-effects regression models with the data of the 50 states from 1980 to 2011, I examined the impact of diversification, reflecting a state's own political and institutional characteristics (i.e., endogeneity), on growth and volatility. I found diversification was positively related to growth, but a diversified portfolio does not smooth volatility. Furthermore, I found that the level of revenue diversification increased in each year of legislators' terms and decreased in every year of governors' terms. These findings imply that legislators and governors have different preferences for diversification, perhaps due to different opportunities to enhance their reelection prospects. I then investigated the relationship between political leaders' year of the terms and changes in specific revenue sources, the biggest set of reelection opportunities. Selective sales and income taxes were negatively related to every year of legislators' terms. General sales taxes, corporate income taxes, and charges are positively related to every year of governors' terms. The results suggest that legislators focus on their districts or specific interest groups, closely associated with selective sales taxes. In contrast, governors' constituency-driven preferences lead them to be responsible for broader issues such as balancing the state budget, thereby using general sales taxes and charges as methods to do so. As a consequence of these political factors, levels of diversification will change, thereby influencing revenue growth and volatility.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Negotiating healthy self-government: a grounded theory study of interactions in Arizona's WIC program

Description

Individual behavior change is a goal of many public policies directed at people of low socioeconomic status. Without evidence of behavioral change, these policies cannot be considered a success: a

Individual behavior change is a goal of many public policies directed at people of low socioeconomic status. Without evidence of behavioral change, these policies cannot be considered a success: a process of co-production where some level of cooperation between the client and program administrators is required to successfully meet program objectives. The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), is one example of a co-production design. WIC encourages women to engage in healthy behaviors by providing healthy food along with nutrition education to improve the health status of low-income families. However, while WIC is one of the most studied nutrition programs, little attention has been paid to the nutrition education portion or to interactions between staff members and participants. This research draws on the public policy and administration literature about street-level bureaucrats and co-production, which provides a framework for understanding the purposeful, inter-dependent relationships between front-line service providers and clients. However, neither literature explicates the process of interactions that is expected to lead to client behavior change and co-production. The primary contribution of this research is the creation of a grounded theory that identifies and explains the WIC interaction process as one of "negotiating healthy self-government". Based on analysis of three months of observations of WIC encounters in two clinics, this research finds that participants and staff members enter into tacit and explicit negotiations concerning the degree to which participants should govern their family's nutrition-related behavior. Clients actively shape the interactions by demonstrating their discipline and efforts to feed their families, while staff members refine and reinforce self-governing behaviors through assessing action, and providing advice to ensure behaviors meet recommendations. Finally, participants and staff members distinctly link self-governing behavior to identity: "good mothers" feed their children healthy food and govern their behaviors to meet nutritional recommendations. This research has implications for the study of behavior change promotion in public programs by introducing the concept of identity as a mechanism for governance and explicating the interaction process between front-line service providers and clients

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Three essays on health and health care in society: public values, genomic policies, and socio-technical futures of our lifespan

Description

Each of the three essays in this dissertation examine an aspect of health or health care in society. Areas explored within this dissertation include health care as a public value,

Each of the three essays in this dissertation examine an aspect of health or health care in society. Areas explored within this dissertation include health care as a public value, proscriptive genomic policies, and socio-technical futures of the human lifespan. The first essay explores different forms of health care systems and attempts to understand who believes access to health care is a public value. Using a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. citizens, this study presents statistically significant empirical evidence regarding values and other attributes that predict the probability of individuals within age-based cohorts identifying access to health care as a public value. In the second essay, a menu of policy recommendations for federal regulators is proposed in order to address the lack of uniformity in current state laws concerning genetic information. The policy recommendations consider genetic information as property, privacy protections for re-identifying de-identified genomic information, the establishment of guidelines for law enforcement agencies to access nonforensic databases in criminal investigations, and anti-piracy protections for individuals and their genetic information. The third and final essay explores the socio-technical artifacts of the current health care system for documenting both life and death to understand the potential for altering the future of insurance, the health care delivery system, and individual health outcomes. Through the development of a complex scenario, this essay explores the long-term socio-technical futures of implementing a technology that continuously collects and stores genetic, environmental, and social information from life to death of individual participants.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want: Data Access in US Small and Medium Sized Cities

Description

This research examines data exchange between city departments and external stakeholders; particularly, why city departments have different capacity to access data from departments in the same city, other public agencies,

This research examines data exchange between city departments and external stakeholders; particularly, why city departments have different capacity to access data from departments in the same city, other public agencies, private and nonprofit organizations. Data access is of theoretical interest because it provides the opportunity to investigate how public organizations and public managers deal with a portfolio of relationships in a loosely structured context characterized by dynamics of power and influence. Moreover, enhancing data access is important for public managers to increase the amount and diversity of information available to design, implement, and support public services and policies.

Drawing from institutionalism, resource dependence theory, and collaboration scholarship, I developed a set of hypotheses that emphasize two dimensions of data access in local governments. First, a vertical dimension which includes institutions, the social environment - particularly power relationships - and coordination mechanisms implemented by managers. This dimension shows how exogenous - not controlled by public managers - and endogenous - controlled by public managers - factors contribute to a public organization’s ability to access resources. Second, a horizontal dimension which considers the characteristics of the actors involved in data exchange and emphasizes the institutional and social context of intra-organizational, intra-sectoral and cross-sectoral data access.

Hypotheses are tested using survey data from a 2016 nationally representative sample of 500 US cities with populations between 25,000 and 250,000. By focusing on small- and medium-sized cities, I contribute to a literature that typically focuses on data sharing in US large cities and federal agencies. Results show that the influence of government agencies and the influence of civil society have opposite effect on data access, whereas government influence limits data access while influence from civil society increases capacity to access data. The effectiveness of coordination mechanisms varies according to the stakeholder type. Public managers rely on informal networks to exchange data with other departments in the city and other governmental agencies while they leverage lateral coordination mechanisms - informal but unplanned - to coordinate data access from nongovernmental organizations. I conclude by discussing the implications for practice and future research.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Public Organization Adaptation to Extreme Events Evidence from the Public Transportation Sector

Description

This dissertation consists of three essays, each examining distinct aspects about public organization adaptation to extreme events using evidence from public transit agencies under the influence of extreme weather in

This dissertation consists of three essays, each examining distinct aspects about public organization adaptation to extreme events using evidence from public transit agencies under the influence of extreme weather in the United States (U.S.). The first essay focuses on predicting organizational adaptive behavior. Building on extant theories on adaptation and organizational learning, it develops a theoretical framework to uncover the pathways through which extreme events impact public organizations and identify the key learning mechanisms involved in adaptation. Using a structural equation model on data from a 2016 national survey, the study highlights the critical role of risk perception to translate signals from the external environment to organizational adaptive behavior.

The second essay expands on the first one to incorporate the organizational environment and model the adaptive system. Combining an agent-based model and qualitative interviews with key decision makers, the study investigates how adaptation occurs over time in multiplex contexts consisting of the natural hazards, organizations, institutions and social networks. The study ends with a series of refined propositions about the mechanisms involved in public organization adaptation. Specifically, the analysis suggests that risk perception needs to be examined relative to risk tolerance to determine organizational motivation to adapt, and underscore the criticality of coupling between the motivation and opportunities to enable adaptation. The results further show that the coupling can be enhanced through lowering organizational risk perception decay or synchronizing opportunities with extreme event occurrences to promote adaptation.

The third essay shifts the gaze from adaptation mechanisms to organizational outcomes. It uses a stochastic frontier analysis to quantify the impacts of extreme events on public organization performance and, importantly, the role of organizational adaptive capacity in moderating the impacts. The findings confirm that extreme events negatively affect organizational performance and that organizations with higher adaptive capacity are more able to mitigate those effects, thereby lending support to research efforts in the first two essays dedicated to identifying preconditions and mechanisms involved in the adaptation process. Taken together, this dissertation comprehensively advances understanding about public organization adaptation to extreme events.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Determinants of Lengthy IRS Conflict

Description

This study examines determinants of the length of conflict between firms and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). I hand collect firm disclosures of the number of years open for federal

This study examines determinants of the length of conflict between firms and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). I hand collect firm disclosures of the number of years open for federal tax purposes to create a proxy for IRS conflict length. Using this proxy, I find evidence that larger firms, firms with more book-tax differences, and firms facing higher IRS attention and audit probabilities are associated with lengthier IRS conflicts. In contrast, firms with higher deferred tax assets, intangibles, return on assets, and firms disclosing participation in the Compliance Assurance Process program are associated with shorter IRS conflicts. Additional analyses show IRS conflict length is positively associated with manager risk preferences and poor tax accounting quality. I also find lengthier IRS conflicts are associated with higher future tax risk and higher audit fees. Tax controversy is becoming increasingly important for firms but remains relatively understudied. I provide empirical evidence on cross-sectional variation in IRS conflict length.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020