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Threatened Globally, Acting Locally: Modeling Law Enforcement Homeland Security Practices

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 27 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2010 Pages: 77-101
George W. Burruss; Matthew J. Giblin; Joseph A. Schafer
Date Published
February 2010
25 pages
The present study examined the effects of institutional pressures on homeland security preparedness among law enforcement agencies in Illinois.
The data come from the Illinois Homeland Security Survey (IHSS). Specifically, the study employed three theories to explain homeland security preparedness: contingency theory, resource dependence theory, and institutional theory. We hypothesized that institutional pressures will lead to isomorphism as agencies attempt to conform to institutional expectations about appropriate activities in a homeland security era. To evaluate these theories and their impact on homeland security practices, the authors used confirmatory factor analysis. The IHSS data lend strong support to the application of organizational theory as a lens through which homeland security preparedness can be understood. Institutional pressures, such as professional and government publications, training, professional associations, and the actions of peer agencies, significantly influenced municipal and county agencies in Illinois. Funding, while often thought important to encourage preparedness, was not a significant predictor. The results of this analysis advance our understanding of homeland security preparedness via institutional theory by suggesting that the larger environment is salient. Tables, figures, and references (Published Abstract)