Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Emison, Gerald A.

Committee Member

Shoup, Brian

Committee Member

French, P. Edward

Committee Member

Travis, Rick

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Political Science and Public Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Political Science and Public Administration


While designed and adopted at the federal level, the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) rely on states for implementation. The result of this implementation framework is a disparity in environmental conditions across the nation. The objective of this research is to examine how the implementation stage of the policy process affects program outcomes. The findings indicate that the primary means of shaping program outcomes are the decision-making criterion and subsequent behavior of implementing officials, where their value based actions dictate service delivery. These decisions are, in turn, shaped by the context of the work, where organizations and the socio-political environment influence the basis for decision-making. These findings connect broader organizational and socio-political factors with program outcomes through an indirect relationship, rather than assume a direct relationship as previous authors have done. The findings explain a significant portion of the variance in both air and water program outcomes across the nation. This research indicates the importance of front-line operators in the implementation process, an issue that has been left-out of other work. These conclusions can be used to enhance performance management by practitioners, through a greater understanding of how organizations and individuals affect program outcomes. Finally, the theoretical framework and methodological techniques suggest that previous implementation research has failed to properly specify statistical models, which enhances the literature on the subject.



hierarchical linear model||policy implementation||environmental policy