First Advisor

Craig W. Shinn

Term of Graduation

Spring 2007

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




Emergency management, Laboratory schools, Professional education



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, xii 207 pages)


Throughout its short and remarkable history, emergency management has been subjected to a vast array of fast-moving and radical changes which have presented significant challenges to the men and women in this emerging profession. This study was designed to help determine the adequacy of their professional development to meet those challenges.

The study is framed within an environment where emergency managers face the pressure to professionalize; explore the world of risk, trust, and the distribution of power; confront revolutionary changes; and concern themselves with the social impact of disasters in their own communities. This study asks: "Do Emergency Managers feel confident their education, training, and practical experiences enable them to meet the challenges taking place in emergency management in a post-9/11 world?" A 49-question survey was mailed to a stratified, random sample of 500 emergency managers from the 2005 membership roster of the International Association of Emergency Managers during the first week of September, 2005. Ironically, this was the same time Hurricane Katrina came ashore. Any fears a catastrophe of that magnitude would somehow result in a less-than-ideal response rate were quickly calmed when 240 responses were received, a 48% response rate. Emergency managers wanted to be heard on this issue!

The analysis of findings reveal emergency managers are confident in their training and experiences, which are directly related to their job responsibilities, but have mixed feelings about the value of their formal education, which may not have been in a field even remotely connected to their present employment. The data explicates recommendations for education, training, and experience for anyone seeking a career in emergency management. The analysis also explores the changing demographics of the members of the profession. In the view of current emergency managers, emergency managers of the future will have to be better educated, better trained, and better able to learn from their experiences.

The study concludes with a list of future studies to consider and recommendations for current emergency managers to be more active in higher education, enhancing future professional development with the skills they possess.


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