Dr. Leslie Miller and the Clearwater Fire & Rescue Research Project

Dr. Leslie Miller and the Clearwater Fire & Rescue Research Project

In 2016 Clearwater Fire & Rescue had two business issues they were experiencing: (a) an “Us Vs. Them” attitude between the Union, Department Leadership, and the City Administration, and (b) highly publicized employee misconduct/unethical behaviors. To fully understand the causes of the behaviors, research was conducted by Dr. Leslie Miller and others that involved observing behavior in the firehouses, conducting interviews with a representative sample of all levels of employees, and conducting an employee survey to confirm and quantify the interview findings.  There was a conceptual framework, Denison’s model, to serve as a framework for the questions asked during interviews. Once the potential causes of the problems was understood, recommendations were made for what action the Department might take to reduce the “Us Vs. Them” attitude (so as to create a more harmonious work environment) and to reduce the incidence of misconduct.  Without understanding the principles of research, this type of project would never have moved forward.

To read more, here is a link to an April 4, 2017 Tampa Bay Times article on the research project:


To read more about Dr. Miller’s perspective on research and this project please visit her blog post:


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