Handbook of Collaborative Public Management
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Handbook of Collaborative Public Management

Edited by Jack W. Meek

This insightful Handbook presents readers with a comprehensive range of original research within the field of collaborative public management (CPM), a central area of study and practice in public administration. It explores the most important questions facing collaboration, providing insights into future research directions and new areas of study.
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Chapter 5: The generation and selection of diversity in collaborative processes: an evolutionary view

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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