Barriers and Responses
New Horizons in Environmental Politics series
Edited by Richard D. Margerum and Cathy J. Robinson
Chapter 4: The other side of managing in networks
This chapter examines the limitations of networks as a form of collaborative management by looking deeper into issues related to their internal operational processes. First, it highlights the complexities involved when agencies and organizations work collaboratively, including challenges for governing bodies, statutory constraints, turf battles and the management of network processes. Second, it highlights the overlooked issue of mission incompatibility and the challenges this creates in working collaboratively. Third, there is the issue of “Big P” politics; or the role of elective leaders in supporting or constraining collaborative efforts. Fourth, there are the “small p” politics of process, power and operational barriers in the collaboration process. Fifth, there are the array of processing barriers or transaction costs. Sixth, the chapter notes the issue of process fatigue created by the complexity of multiple collaboration efforts. Finally, there are the perils of operational localism, or the gap between policy and delivery. The author suggests that these limitations can be more effectively addressed by applying continuous improvement functions that suggest more systematic approaches to improving collaborative practice.
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