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  • Series: Elgar Handbooks in Public Administration and Management x
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Edited by Jack W. Meek

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Edited by Jack W. Meek

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Margaret Stout and Robyn Keast

Collaboration has become a key concept in public management research and practice. Yet, the meaning of the term remains muddy and somewhat contested, often confounding research and practice efforts. This chapter seeks to clarify the meanings of varied ways of working together. We use guidance from a recently proposed governance typology along with a power typology to differentiate collaboration from consolidation, coordination, competition, cooperation, and clientelism. This inquiry draws from related disciplines to expand the field’s understanding of collaboration. Finally, we consider the implications of this interpretation of collaboration for public management research and practice.

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Göktuğ Morçöl, Eunsil Yoo, Shahinshah Faisal Azim and Aravind Menon

Collaborative governance networks became increasingly popular in the practice and scholarship of public administration and policy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In this paper, we present the results of a comprehensive review of the journal publications about collaborative governance networks between 1977 and 2018. The results of our analyses show that in the first two decades of the 21st century the number of publications increased sharply. The studies were conducted in widening areas and fields of study and in an increased number of countries. The leading areas and fields were environmental studies, healthcare/public health, local/urban/community/regional studies, business/finance, and public affairs. The leading countries in the studies were the US, the UK, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden. The results also show that the publications were mostly a-theoretical, and in only a minority of them a recognizable empirical research method was used.

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Elise Boruvka and Lisa Blomgren Amsler

Negotiation is a process necessary whenever individual parties must cooperate with others to achieve an outcome. Collaborative networks form due to increasingly complex issues that organizations or actors are unable to solve alone. Negotiation skills are essential to network actors, including understanding the interests of different parties, identifying the actors with legitimacy and power to make decisions, negotiation analysis, and establishing rules to govern the network. Sometimes network actors train together in the communication and conflict management skills necessary to successfully negotiate. This chapter looks specifically at actors within networks and the ways in which they negotiate network governance. Public, private, and/or nonprofit organizations in a network operate via agents who negotiate on their behalf. Using literature from multiple disciplines, this chapter discusses the role of interest-based negotiation, how negotiation processes occur between principals and agents within organizations, and the representation of those principals within the network.

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Christopher Koliba

Collaborative management functions are very often carried out within the context of interpersonal groups or communities of practice (CoP) that pursue some form of collective action. Public administrators employed in state agencies are often asked to work with a wide array of people from within their own agencies, with others across agencies, as well as with nonprofits and firms. Oftentimes, these working relationships are not captured in organizational charts nor are they formally studied. Yet, these relationships play a significant role in the daily collaborative management practices of many public administrators. Drawing upon community of practice theory, an intermediate unit of analysis linking the individual with both formal and informal collaborative structures within and across organizations, this chapter demonstrates an approach for mapping selected communities of practice of public administrators.

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Lasse Gerrits and Robin Chang

Collaborating actors may pursue their individual goals while disregarding those of others. In the short run, they may benefit from such a singular strategy. However, long-term effects may be very different. Taking a longitudinal view and deploying some of the core mechanisms of evolutionary theory, this chapter explores the interplay between the creation of diversity in collaborative processes and the effects this has on such processes in the long run in terms of goal attainment by actors. Using cases studies from Switzerland and Germany, the chapter demonstrates that there is a reciprocal relationship between increased actor diversity and increased diversity of the problem definitions and solution definitions considered in the process. In turn, this creates more-broadly supported outcomes but, importantly, the capacity to sustain that diversity. If managed well, such reciprocal processes improve the inclusive fitness of all actors involved.

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Asim Zia and Christopher Koliba

This study assesses intergovernmental decision-making processes undertaken by state and regional agencies to prioritize transportation infrastructure projects for Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs (STIPs). We hypothesize that, first, the criterion of “system preservation” dominates the selection and implementation of transportation projects, and second, that environmental sustainability-related criteria are under-emphasized in project prioritization processes. We test these hypotheses by statistically modeling the STIP project prioritization processes in the state of Vermont from 2006 to 2010. Focus groups, interviews, and analysis of project prioritization data informed the statistical modeling of complex decision-making processes. We find that the projects with higher environmental sustainability scores are less likely to be funded while projects with higher system preservation scores are more likely to be funded. The governance of intergovernmental decision-making processes will require re-calibration and improvements in inter-agency collaboration if environmental sustainability criteria are to be integrated into transport asset management processes.

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Erik Hans Klijn, Joop Koppenjan and Rianne Warsen

Public-private partnerships are a vehicle used a lot by governments all around the world. When it was introduced the idea relied a lot on economic reasoning in which contracts, monitoring and performance criteria were important to achieve results. But from the beginning PPP’s were a hybrid idea because there were also assumptions about collaborations and synergy that fused the idea. In this chapter we explore the ideas behind PPP, the importance of collaboration to make PPP’s work and we show, with recent research results, that PPP’s actually need a mix of contracts and collaboration to work.