Robert LopezFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


James Swezey


Disaster, Emergency Management, Interorganizational Relationships, Jurisdiction, School Safety Plans


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Educational Methods | Other Education


The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to examine how the interorganizational relationship between school administrators and law enforcement personnel in the Midwest, South, and Southwest regions of the United States with diverse cultures, missions, and objectives to collaborate to create, implement, and sustain emergency management readiness. The theoretical concept that guided this study involved interorganizational theories as they relate to two or more organizations working together toward a common goal. This study used purposeful sampling of 12 participants from three school districts from the states of Alabama, New Mexico, and Illinois. A within-case and cross-case analysis along with interviews, documents, and artifacts, such as school safety plans, school safety drills, safety audits, and Safe School rubrics were analyzed as part of the data collection process and were used to investigate interorganizational relationships between schools and law enforcement in relation to school emergency management readiness. Results indicated that the creation of emergency management plans is primarily the work of district administrators. The implementation process included district administrators and building principals with minimal input of law enforcement personnel. However, the process of sustaining school emergency plans is a joint effort between school and law enforcement personnel. Analysis of data affirmed the importance of having an effective interorganizational relationship between school and law enforcement personnel in the context of school safety to create an effective emergency management plan in the school.