T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
School of Graduate Studies - Theses >
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||Fighting Fires Together: Essays on Alliances among Fire Departments|
|Authors: ||Horwitz, Jay Robert|
|Advisor: ||McGahan, Anita|
|Issue Date: ||9-Jan-2012|
|Abstract: ||Organizations enter into strategic alliances for economic value that cannot be achieved by working alone. Despite the potential benefits many alliances fail to meet their goals, destroy value, and end in termination. Success within alliances is neither automatic nor assured. The ways that organizations arrange their alliances to contend with impediments to success is of great practical and theoretical importance. This thesis studies how formal and informal arrangements arise over time and influence the performance of U.S. fire departments.
The first study empirically describes how formal contracting influences performance of the alliance and its members. I analyze a sample of responses by US fire departments to fires over 11 years, and I describe how contracting affects four dimensions of performance: arrival minutes, resolution minutes, property damage, and casualties. I find (i) the effect of contracts varies across qualitatively different outcomes, (ii) that contracts deliver separate costs and benefits at the level of the alliance and the organization, and (iii) that estimates are sensitive to matching on pre-contracting covariates including social context. The second study examines the role played by social context in contracting. Looking at the hazard of contracting between pairs of alliance partners I examine the effects of increased embeddedness in (i) focal relationships and in (ii) networks of outside relation- ships. I find that qualitative differences in prior interactions partly explain the decision to formally contract. I find that differences in arrangements with other partners affect formal contracting both directly and indirectly through interpretations of dyadic history. These findings suggest that models of relational mechanisms that accumulate within a relationship work both in parallel and interactively with broader social networks. The third study investigates how the design of alliances affects the performance of their members. I distinguish between (i) the extent to which departments rely on their own resources versus those of their alliance partners, (ii) the formality of arrangements, and (iii) performance in terms of property damage and casualties. I find that formal contracts are needed to improve some aspects of performance while informal arrangements are sufficient for others. This finding suggests a nuanced relationship among alliance structures and outcomes.|
|Appears in Collections:||Doctoral|
Items in T-Space are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.