AS WE PREPARE FOR THE NPS CENTENNIAL IN 2016, there has been renewed interest in developing innovative partnerships to usher in the next century of park preservation (Bomar 2007). Although some may view this partnership interest as new, the roots of forging “strategic alliances,” as our first director, Stephen Mather, called them, go deep into NPS history (see sidebar).
More recently, Karen Wade, former director of the NPS Intermountain Region, remarked at a partnership workshop, “The parks that are doing the best are those that have figured out how to collaborate and share. … It is my belief that building relationships creates opportunities.” Former NPS director Mary Bomar, in her 2006 nomination hearing, stated that “training for NPS personnel … will continue to build a culture of partnership in all fields and at all levels” (Bomar 2007). Former Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne further affirmed the commitment of the National Park Service to “sound partnership practices that are essential to the success of the centennial initiative and are accountable, efficient, and transparent” (Kempthorne 2007).
Implementing a monitoring and evaluation system to track training effectiveness and developing “an agile workforce that is capable of responding to changing organizational and personnel needs” require systematic research into issues such as employee retirement and succession (National Park Service 2003). Monitoring for potential “competency shortfalls” is logically a part of this research agenda. Therefore, the Service initiated a systematic research effort to monitor and evaluate the preparation of NPS personnel to address prescribed partnership competencies and the need for employee training and development programs. This study attempts to determine the impact of “partnership competency shortfalls” on the workforce and the ability of the Service to manage partnerships into the future. This article highlights the critical findings to enable managers to continue improving partnership training and enhance collaborative efforts.
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This page updated:
2 November 2009
Suggested citation for this article:
Weddell, M. S., R. Fedorchak, and B. A. Wright. 2009. Research Report: Partnership behaviors, motivations, constraints, and training needs among NPS employees. Park Science 26(2):87–91.
Available at https://www.nature.nps.gov/ParkScience/archive/PDF/Article_PDFs/ParkScience26(2)Fall2009_87-91_Weddell_et_al_2663.pdf.
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