Date of Award

August 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Member

Aleda V. Roth

Committee Member

Yann B. Ferrand

Committee Member

Thomas A. Mroz

Committee Member

Bernardo F. Quiroga


This dissertation uses a service operations lens to investigate flood disasters’ recovery phase, the least-studied area of Humanitarian Operations and Crisis Management (HOCM). Comprising three essays, my dissertation deepens our knowledge of disaster recovery by using two different units of analysis, including province (state) and household levels.

In Essay 1, entitled “The Influence of Industrialization and Internet Usage on Per-Capita Income: A Longitudinal Analysis of Flood Events in Thai Provinces,” we introduce a novel approach to research HOCM by using econometric analyses. We use panel data as a tool to guide decision makers in understanding the notion of flood recovery, broadly measured by a province’s per-capita income at any given time. Using panel data from 2006-2012 across 75 Thai provinces, we empirically address the question of how industrialization level and Internet usage affect per-capita income changes during and after a flood incident. Using these results, we then identify groups of provinces that recovered “best” and “worst” in order to further evaluate other identifying factors that contribute to “best-worst” recovery performance.

Essay 2, entitled “Antecedents of Financial Recovery Effectiveness from Floods: A Structural Econometric Analysis of Flooding in Thailand,” uses a sample survey of approximately 34,000 households in Thailand with data pre-, during-, and post-flood disaster in 2011. Using a service operations lens, our study aims to identify where and how in the flood cycle various stakeholders—individuals, communities and governments—can act to increase the likelihood of a successful service recovery. More specifically, this research asks what type of strategic actions policy makers can take to better allocate precious resources in all three flood phases to improve the overall recovery effectiveness.

Essay 3, entitled “The Influence of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Factors on the Utilization of Healthcare Services During Floods,” proposes a research framework that examines flood-response healthcare service delivery in developing countries. Because resources are scarce, service operations’ strategies with regards to household water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are critical for improving the post-disaster flood recovery phase. Using field and archival data, we empirically investigate the influence of WASH strategies on households’ decisions and access to healthcare services during floods.

Collectively, these essays argue for the importance of a service operations strategy perspective for disasters, providing a research blueprint to improve recovery effectiveness.



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