Multi-method Assessment of Organizational Effectiveness in a Local Emergency Planning Committee

August 1996 (VOL. 14, NO. 2)

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Previous studies of Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) effectiveness have been influenced strongly by the practical issues of concern to state and federal agency personnel and by theoretical issues of interest to researchers, but not necessarily by issues that concern the LEPC members. This problem was addressed by comparing the results of open-ended personal interviews with survey data collected from an LEPC in conjunction with a broader survey of 180 LEPC chairs and 1196 LEPC members in the Midwest. The personal interviews and standardized surveys generally produced convergent results, but the personal interviews also revealed a significant amount of conflict about members’ conceptions of the LEPC’s mission, external role relationships, and staffing. This finding indicates that there are area in which standardized surveys need to be improved and that LEPCs need to address a number of organizational design issues to increase their effectiveness.