As public administration evolved to encompass a strong focus on supporting safe growth and development for communities, the role and responsibilities of government became increasingly complex with aspects of emergency management becoming quintessential. The ability to assess resilience plays a strong role in understanding the capability of a community to face a range of threats. Additionally, issues with communication uncovered the need to understand how administrators collect, disseminate, and adapt critical information through understanding crisis type and local community needs. This dissertation discusses the connection between public administration and emergency management, the evolution of crisis communication and strategies, resilience and its measurement, along with Situational Crisis Communication Theory. This study conducted an online-survey of county, and county-equivalent, emergency managers across the United States. Results of Structural Equation Modeling included statistically significant relationships between Crisis Type and Local Community Needs on Crisis Communication Strategies as well as between strategies onto Community Resilience. Comparative analysis with the Baseline Resilience Indicators for Communities showed stark contrast in perceived resilience capacity. Follow-up, semi-structured interviews were conducted with voluntary respondents and analyzed via axial, deductive coding. Comparing quantitative and qualitative analysis highlighted the importance of county characteristics, critical relationships, overcoming obstacles, need for learning and adaptation, and importance of communication.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Public Affairs; Public Administration
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Haupt, Brittany, "The Use of Crisis Communication Strategies to Build Community Resilience: Evidence from Emergency Managers" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5884.