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Understanding Emergency Preparedness in Public Agencies: The Key Role of Managerial Perceptions
Administration & Society  (IF2.69),  Pub Date : 2021-07-14, DOI: 10.1177/00953997211031224
Tianyi Xiang

A central function of government is to protect citizens from harms of various hazards. Research on governmental emergency preparedness focuses predominantly on emergency management agencies per se but seldom assesses the full range of public sector agencies—nor how public managers specifically shape agency actions. This study addresses these gaps by investigating how perceptions and attitudes of administrators in nonemergency management agencies affect preparedness. Using a survey of U.S. public transit agencies, I demonstrate how managers’ perceived risks and efficacy beliefs shape nonemergency public agencies’ commitment to emergency preparedness. These findings suggest pathways for improved emergency preparedness across public sector agencies overall.