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Bentley University Professors Jane Fedorowicz and Christine Williams, and Bentley PhD Student Arthur Tomasino Win Best Research Paper Award from Digital Government Society of North America, May 2010

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Bentley University Professors Jane Fedorowicz and Christine Williams, and Bentley PhD Student Arthur Tomasino Win Best Research Paper Award from Digital Government Society of North America, May 2010

Bentley University faculty members Jane Fedorowicz, Rae Anderson Professor of Accountancy and Information Systems, and Professor of Government Christine Williams, and Bentley PhD student Arthur Tomasino received a Best Research Paper award from the Digital Government Society of North America. The award, which included a cash prize sponsored by IOS Press, was presented to Williams at the 11th annual international conference on Digital Government Research held May 17 to 20, 2010, in Puebla, Mexico.

The research, "Governmental Factors Associated with State-wide Interagency Collaboration Initiatives," explores the differences among state public safety programs, with emphasis on Public Safety Networks (PSNs) in the United States. PSNs represent a combination of police and other agencies that have joined together at various levels of government to share information and communicate when faced with public safety incidents. The paper is an initial effort to explain differences such as the size and maturity of extant state-level PSNs.  It is a product of a larger research project funded by the National Science Foundation.

"Understanding what motivates collaboration among government agencies is of interest to those studying public sector policy-making," Williams explains. "Ultimately, the goal of our larger research project is to make recommendations about when and how these collaborations succeed in a variety of settings and situations."

According to Williams, although government agencies have long recognized the potential value of sharing information and communicating across agency borders, public safety efforts have been refocused as a result of events such as the failure of the U.S. intelligence community to prevent Nigerian national Umaru Farouk Abdulmutallab from attempting to blow up a U.S. passenger plane in December 2009.

"We seek commonalities among public safety collaborations at multiple levels of government, across geographies and across government functions," Fedorowicz notes. "Our study takes a holistic view of design principles in these initiatives, looking for patterns to explain why they form and why they prosper. These patterns can inform similar governmental collaborations, from criminal justice through emergency management and homeland security."

Fedorowicz adds that a unique feature of the study is that it combines extensive archival and survey data for the 50 states and more than 80 PSNs with detailed information about a small subset of individual cases. "To our knowledge, it is the only compilation of U.S.-based PSNs in existence."

In addition to Arthur Tomasino, the project team included five other doctoral students and a number of undergraduate research assistants. Tomasino looks forward to incorporating county level PSNs into his dissertation work.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu

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