Over the past two decades, public organizations have been encouraged and, at times, required to incorporate evidence in their decision-making processes. Evidence broadly refers to data and or knowledge that is gathered, analyzed, and used to generate a conclusion. Despite arguments and the intrinsic assumption that using evidence to inform decisions will improve organizational performance, there is limited empirical research to support this assertion. The proposed study addresses this gap in research and others in the context of local flood risk management. Specifically, using primary data gathered from local floodplain managers and secondary data from the US Census and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this study seeks to determine (1) the extent to which organizations responsible for managing flood risks exhibit a culture that uses evidence to inform decision making; (2) the predictors of an organization exhibiting a culture that uses evidence to inform decision making; (3) whether organizations exhibiting a culture that uses evidence to inform decision making experience better flood risk management performance outputs (e.g., implementation of mitigation measures) and outcomes (e.g., increased flood resilience); (4) the types of evidence organizations use to manage flood risks; (5) the type of evidence that is associated with better flood risk management performance outputs and outcomes; and (6) whether knowledge of an effective flood risk management program for improving organizations' ability to deal with potential climate change impacts influences an organization's decision to adopt the program. Data gathered from an online survey of 342 floodplain managers in Florida and Texas provided insights into these six research aims. First, respondents reported their organization moderately uses evidence to inform decision making. Additionally, the main factors impacting an organization's culture of evidence usage was if the community had experienced more presidential disaster declarations and if the floodplain manager identified as male and had obtained the Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) licensure. Results also indicated that an organization's culture of evidence usage had not statistical effect on flood risk management performance outputs and outcomes. Rather, the main factors impacting flood risk management performance outputs and outcomes include perceptions of flood risk, participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) program, employee capacity to use evidence, and organizational capacity to manage flood risks. Respondents reported a slightly higher usage of professional evidence compared to scientific evidence; however, neither type of evidence were associated with better flood risk management performance outputs and outcomes. Finally, knowledge of an effective flood risk management program for improving organizations' ability to deal with potential climate change impacts did not appear to influence an organization's decision to adopt the program.
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Public Administration
Public Affairs; Public Administration
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Tyler, Jenna, "Exploring the Predictors of and the Relationship Between Evidence Cultures and Flood Risk Management Performance" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1105.