Date of Award

Winter 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Dr. Angela Kline, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dr. Kyle Overly, DPA

Committee Member

Dr. Peter Loedel, Ph.D.


As the evolution of Emergency Management continues, and the integration of public administration combines more of the shared services model to protect our communities and populations from disasters, we must first assess ourselves. Emergency Management agencies must do more than build capabilities but do so strategically with evidence-based practices and incorporate innovative structural adaptations such as models, strategies, skills, information, assessment, leadership approaches, and more into everyday operation and strategic planning. In coordination with the only Emergency Management accreditation program on the planet, a standardized quantitative assessment will increase a comprehensive understanding of capabilities while strategically supporting programmatic objectives.

This mixed-methods research examines the existing literature on organizational structure and organizational assessment. It examines the need for a quality assessment tool to enhance the accreditation process for several types of jurisdictions, municipal, local, and state institutions of higher education, hospitals, and other emergency management organizations eligible for accreditation. This research comprises an electronic survey, focus group, theory generation, and quality assessment tool recommendation over the current 66 Emergency Management standards. Emergency managers from across the United States who have obtained either an Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) or Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) certification were invited to participate. This research examines the perceived need from emergency managers for a theory and assessment tool to support programmatic decisions, strategic planning, and organizational accreditation assessment. This research examines a new theory for organizational enhancement.

Available for download on Friday, November 29, 2024