Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

PhD in Business


Department of Information and Process Management

First Advisor

Jane Fedorowicz

Second Advisor

Christine B. Williams

Third Advisor

Steve Sawyer


The purpose of this dissertation is to examine information systems-enabled interorganizational collaborations called public safety networks – their proliferation, information systems architecture, and technology evolution. These networks face immense pressures from member organizations, external stakeholders, and environmental contingencies. This dissertation investigates the role of three effects on these networks - the effect of peers in network proliferation, the effect of environmental and organizational complexity on their information systems, and the effect of legacy systems on capability scale and scope. Better understanding the conditions associated with network proliferation will assist decision-makers in assessing appropriate partnering opportunities. Better understanding the nature of the information systems supporting these networks will assist designers to build capabilities that more closely align with network requirements. Better understanding the limitations introduced by aging information systems and the means of overcoming those limitations will assist network leadership in providing network members with information system capabilities that remains responsive to organizational changes in scale and scope. This dissertation includes findings from three separate studies of public safety networks. Study one involves regression analysis of various state-level factors and finds peer-effects help predict network proliferation. The findings extend public administration knowledge on peer-influenced institutional practices by providing evidence for the role of inter-state mobility in predicting public safety-related outcomes. Study two involves decision tree analysis of survey data on information technology architecture components and finds that employing a complexity lens provides a useful perspective for examining the types of architectures that currently existing in the public safety domain. The findings extend information infrastructure knowledge by illustrating the value of taking a complexity perspective and by specifying a taxonomy of information systems architecture configurations in the public safety domain. Study three involves a case study analysis of legacy system effects that tests the effectiveness of bootstrapping and adaptiveness design principles in overcoming these effects. Conceptual observations and empirical findings extend information infrastructure knowledge by specifying the legacy effect, by demonstrating how and why bootstrapping and adaptiveness overcome legacy effects, and by highlighting the significant role that positive network effects and flexible standards play in balancing the tensions faced by networked organizations.