Risk Management Organizational Placement: Assessing the Efficacy of Workers’ Compensation Program Delivery in California Municipalities

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The organizational placement of the risk management function in California municipalities is typically within the city manager, city attorney, human resources, or finance departments. This study examined the effectiveness of that organizational placement within a sample size of cities combined with the phenomenological experiences of the incumbent practitioners utilizing a convergent mixed methods research design. The theoretical foundations of this research included both cost-benefit analysis theory (CBAT) and classical management theory (CMT). The literature review analyzed the history of workers’ compensation in California and the seminal and catalytic literature related to the evolution of workers’ compensation program administration. The existing body of research revealed a looming industry talent crisis and the importance of maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in succession planning while creating and recognizing public value as new public administration practitioners replace incumbents. This convergent mixed methods research study propounds conclusions in risk management best practices for efficacy in workers’ compensation program delivery, recommendations for organizational placement of the risk management function, and a conceptual framework for public agency management of workers’ compensation claims administration.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public administration, Risk management