Title: Exploring the process of strategic planning in emergency management

Authors: Scott Robert Manning

Addresses: Department of Emergency Management, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL, 36265, USA

Abstract: This study examined the strategic planning practices of county-level emergency management agencies (EMAs) throughout the USA, with a focus on the strategic planning process. A theoretical framework was developed by reviewing the literature on public sector strategic planning and identifying the features that characterise 'high quality' strategic planning. The analysis revealed that success in using strategic planning in the public sector depended on the inclusion of key planning components, the availability of advanced planning capabilities, strong planning process leadership, broad planning process participation, and post-strategic planning integration and implementation. Using this framework, the study found considerable variation in the underlying structure and characteristics of the strategic planning processes used by county-level EMAs. The data revealed that while many county-level EMAs attempted to undertake and fully execute most, if not all, of the components of strategic planning, they often struggled with inadequate planning capabilities, leadership, participation, and post-planning integration and implementation.

Keywords: emergency management; strategic planning; strategic management; planning process; program management; public administration; public organisations; local government.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2020.112300

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2020 Vol.16 No.2, pp.152 - 178

Received: 11 Oct 2019
Accepted: 09 Jun 2020

Published online: 02 Jan 2021 *

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