Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is the result of Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 (HSPD-5). NIMS requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a national policy template for state, local, regional, and federal agencies to work together during emergencies. One difficulty with NIMS is that state and local agencies interpret and implement NIMS requirements differently. Using Lusier & Achua's theory of integrative leadership and Burns, Bass, Kouzes, and Posner's concept of transformational leadership, this study examined the relationship between the leadership provided by city public safety directors (CPSDs) and effective NIMS implementation at the local level. Two research questions were posed to determine if education, experience, leadership, competency, or knowledge of their position, impacted the required NIMS implementation. The Delphi technique was used to develop 30 survey statements that formed the basis for a survey of 25 CPSDs in a Midwestern state. Data were analyzed using chi-square as a test of association. Results indicated that NIMS knowledge is inconsistent among CPSDs, the cause of which is likely lack of training in NIMS emergency response requirements and not lack of knowledge about leadership styles or techniques. Therefore, the conclusion of this study is that CPSDs have the leadership skills required to lead emergency management organizations, but may lack the specific technical skills related to implementing the NIMS requirements. The results of this study could promote positive social change in NIMS implementation by helping decision-makers to creating training opportunities related to NIMS implementation and to allocate resources more appropriately to protect people from natural and human catastrophic events.