Date of Award

5-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Political Science

Major Professor

Robert B. Cunningham

Committee Members

Bob Kronick, Patricia F. Freeland, David J. Houston

Abstract

This research project addresses the issue of service consolidation by units of local government. Service consolidation between units of local government is a frequent occurrence and references the partial merger of local government departments. The research defines the topic and suggests a distinct placement in the academic literature. Service consolidation is a similar but different topic from local government cooperation, collaboration, functional consolidation or comprehensive merger. To assist, a survey of county managers in North Carolina is conducted to determine the frequency of service merger activity, the attitudes of manager‟s regarding the practice and to determine the types of services viewed favorably for this activity. The research project also conducts two case studies of successful service merger projects with the goal of better understanding the process and specific management strategies creating a favorable outcome. The survey and case study results suggest a favorable view of this activity from administrators and are coupled with a series of cautionary assertions from existing research.

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