Matching Items (5)

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Fostering collaboration through IT tools: an experimental study of public deliberation on water sustainability

Description

Most of challenges facing today's government cannot be resolved without collaborative efforts from multiple non-state stakeholders, organizations, and active participation from citizens. Collaborative governance has become an important form of management practice. Yet the success of this inclusive management approach

Most of challenges facing today's government cannot be resolved without collaborative efforts from multiple non-state stakeholders, organizations, and active participation from citizens. Collaborative governance has become an important form of management practice. Yet the success of this inclusive management approach depends on whether government agencies and all other involved parties can collectively deliberate and work toward the shared goals. This dissertation examines whether information technology (IT) tools and prior cooperative interactions can be used to facilitate the collaboration process, and how IT tools and prior cooperative interactions can, if at all, get citizens and communities more engaged in collaborative governance. It focuses on the individual and small groups engaged in deliberating on a local community problem, which is water sustainability in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Experiments were conducted to compare how people deliberate and interact with each other under different IT-facilitated deliberation environments and with different prehistory of interactions. The unique experimental site for this research is a designed deliberation space that can seat up to 25 participants surrounded by the immersive 260-degree seven-screen communal display. In total, 126 students from Arizona State University participated in the experiment. The experiment results show that the deliberation spaces can influence participants' engagement in the collaborative efforts toward collective goals. This dissertation demonstrates the great potential of well-designed IT-facilitated deliberation spaces for supporting policy deliberation and advancing collaborative governance. This dissertation provides practical suggestions for public managers and community leaders on how to design and develop the desired features of IT-facilitated interaction environments for face-to-face and computer-mediated online public deliberation activities. This dissertation also discusses lessons and strategies on how to build a stronger sense of community for promoting community-based efforts to achieve collective goals.

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Date Created
2011

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NGO mission success: the field office perspective

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This dissertation examines the factors related to the success of host country field offices established by international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Further, this dissertation examines NGO field office mission success in the context of working with foreign host governments and clients.

This dissertation examines the factors related to the success of host country field offices established by international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Further, this dissertation examines NGO field office mission success in the context of working with foreign host governments and clients. This dissertation is a case of the field offices of The Nature Conservancy in South and Central America. The principal research aim is to identify the primary factors that are related to success of field offices. Success is identified as a multidimensional concept. A conceptual model for success is developed. The conceptual model derived causal factors from the literature and captured categories of variables such as: (1) managerial tactics and techniques dictated by the NGO and adopted by field office leaders; (2) the distance between cultural features of the host country and those of the country of origin of the field office manager and personnel; and, (3) characteristics of the host country government. The dissertation: (1) utilizes a working definition of NGO drawn from the scholarly literature in the field; (2) describes the role of field offices (located in host countries) in the calculus of "home office" goal achievement; (3) discusses the types of "change"--delivery of goods, delivery of services, changes in behavior, changes in norms or attitudes--that field offices may have and how they differ in the challenges they create for field office managers; and, (4) develops a conceptual definition for success. This dissertation is concerned with the factors associated with success in the international NGO's field office. A model of success predictors is tested in this work. The findings suggest that the field offices mission success may be affected by local culture but this was not an issue for the organization studied. Mission success as perceived by the field seems to be a product of organizational culture. The contribution of the research to academic literature is that this study is both an exploratory and descriptive study of how NGO mission is carried out in the field and the impacts of national and organizational culture on mission success.

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Date Created
2011

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Communicative competence: computational simulation approach to public emergency management

Description

Public risk communication (i.e. public emergency warning) is an integral component of public emergency management. Its effectiveness is largely based on the extent to which it elicits appropriate public response to minimize losses from an emergency. While extensive studies have

Public risk communication (i.e. public emergency warning) is an integral component of public emergency management. Its effectiveness is largely based on the extent to which it elicits appropriate public response to minimize losses from an emergency. While extensive studies have been conducted to investigate individual responsive process to emergency risk information, the literature in emergency management has been largely silent on whether and how emergency impacts can be mitigated through the effective use of information transmission channels for public risk communication. This dissertation attempts to answer this question, in a specific research context of 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak in Arizona. Methodologically, a prototype agent-based model is developed to examine the research question. Along with the specific disease spread dynamics, the model incorporates individual decision-making and response to emergency risk information. This simulation framework synthesizes knowledge from complexity theory, public emergency management, epidemiology, social network and social influence theory, and both quantitative and qualitative data found in previous studies. It allows testing how emergency risk information needs to be issued to the public to bring desirable social outcomes such as mitigated pandemic impacts. Simulation results generate several insightful propositions. First, in the research context, emergency managers can reduce the pandemic impacts by increasing the percent of state population who use national TV to receive pandemic information to 50%. Further increasing this percent after it reaches 50% brings only marginal effect in impact mitigation. Second, particular attention is needed when emergency managers attempt to increase the percent of state population who believe the importance of information from local TV or national TV, and the frequency in which national TV is used to send pandemic information. Those measures may reduce the pandemic impact in one dimension, while increase the impact in another. Third, no changes need to be made on the percent of state population who use local TV or radio to receive pandemic information, and the frequency in which either channel is used for public risk communication. This dissertation sheds light on the understanding of underlying dynamics of human decision-making during an emergency. It also contributes to the discussion of developing a better understanding of information exchange and communication dynamics during a public emergency and of improving the effectiveness of public emergency management practices in a dynamic environment.

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Date Created
2012

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How do governments make budget cuts during fiscal crises?: a case study of the Arizona Department of Health Services during 2008 fiscal crisis

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ABSTRACT

This research reveals how governments cut budgets during fiscal crises and what pattern may emerge based on the cuts. It addresses a significant gap in literature by looking into the details of an agency for a full recession period to

ABSTRACT

This research reveals how governments cut budgets during fiscal crises and what pattern may emerge based on the cuts. It addresses a significant gap in literature by looking into the details of an agency for a full recession period to explain how cutback requirements were met. Through investigating a large Arizona state agency during the 2008 recession in the United States, the research reveals that cutback management is a stage-by-stage process lagging the immediate deterioration of the state’s economy and that patterns found among cuts are more often rational than not.

Cutbacks in this agency proceeded through three stages: the beginning, middle and the end period of cuts. In each stage, the author used descriptive analysis, process map analysis and cause and effect analysis to explore the features of cuts made. These methods of analysis were used to break down an annual budget reduction into original appropriation budget cuts, mid year reductions and the final budget cuts required to end the fiscal year in balance. In addition, the analytical methods permitted more detailed analysis of specific appropriation line items. The information used was secondary data collected from seven fiscal years around the recession and from various sources, including budgetary materials, legislation, accounting materials and many program reports related to budget cuts.

The findings suggested that across-the-board cuts are implemented at the beginning of cutback stage mainly to non-mandatory programs without jeopardizing the core functions of the agency. Later, in the middle period of the recession, selective cuts are made on large programs. Fund transfers and excess balance transfers are also preferred to reduce the budgets of other restricted funds. At the end stage of budget cuts, new revenue sources are established to support programs which had relied on general fund revenues in the past.

Overall, the cutback process observed in this research reflects decremental and rational patterns of decision making, contrasting with the randomness observed in previous research on cutback management. Across the board cuts are decremental; the remainders are rational, even strategic decisions. This investigation reminds researchers to be aware of the context and the level of observation when analyzing cutbacks.

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Date Created
2018

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An exploration of the emerging original Chinese design as found in select furniture design SMEs in China

Description

Starting from 21st century BC, China has had strong but isolated philosophies for making things, which dominated the style and spirit of Chinese design. With globalization, however, contemporary Chinese design fell under the influence of Western design including design practice,

Starting from 21st century BC, China has had strong but isolated philosophies for making things, which dominated the style and spirit of Chinese design. With globalization, however, contemporary Chinese design fell under the influence of Western design including design practice, design theory, and education. Today, by improving capacity for independent innovation, and creating its own brand, China may be able to change its current practices of production that are defined by high consumption of resources, high pollution and low value-add. The search for high-quality Chinese design, which is both original and innovative with unique and identifiable features, has become a vital challenge for the Chinese government, organizations, and companies. Promoting original Chinese design with adding cultural values, in the past decade, has become prominent in various design fields because of the growing need to support economic development, upgrade industrial infrastructure, and promote national identity. In this context, many small-medium, creative and design-focused companies have been established with the goal of pursuing original Chinese design all the while concentrating on Chinese culture and users. In order to understand the present scenarios of original Chinese design, this research examines furniture design in select SMEs in China by studying relevantly critical issues: the motivation of designers for pursuing original Chinese design; the design ideas, practices and business strategies of these SMEs to build original and influential design brand; the challenges and opportunities in the furniture design industry while promoting original Chinese design; and the emerging picture of future Chinese design. This research applies the methodological framework of grounded theory with qualitative research methods including semi-structured interview and in-depth case studies. As a result, regarding interaction among Chinese culture, original design, and entrepreneurship, the research reveals three key findings regarding the interaction among Chinese culture, original design and entrepreneurship. First, “reflect Chinese culture”, particularly essential traditional Chinese culture, is a common ground of original Chinese furniture design, which has been shown both from design ideas and practices of the select SMEs. Second, insufficient entrepreneurship influences the promotion of original design brands both in domestic and international market. Third, innovative design among contemporary furniture designers is constrained by a morass of Chinese culture impediments, such as lacking critical thinking and overemphasizing on inheritance of traditions. Moreover, the research presents a theoretical framework with key implications for developing and promoting Chinese design that is original, innovative and socially impactful. The insights gained from the research also provide a foundation and possible direction for future studies on design, culture, entrepreneurship, and other creative industries both for China and other nations.

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Date Created
2018