The Multisectoral Trilemma of Network Management

Herranz Jr., JoaquĆ­n
January 2008
Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory;Jan2008, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
This article presents an analysis of different network coordination strategies. The article extends network management scholarship by integrating sector-based differences within a theoretical framework encompassing extant conceptions of network management. Even as the emergent field of network management scholarship advances, current research tends to generalize network management approaches based on assumptions that organizations behave similarly within a network regardless of whether the organizations are governmental, nonprofit, or commercial. Consequently, existing research does not fully account for whether sector-based differences have implications for network management. This article provides evidence that sector-based differences within a network matter because the differences provide strategic opportunities and constraints for managers involved in coordinating mixed-sector networks. This article makes several contributions to network management scholarship. First, this article provides a framework that reviews and situates current conceptions about network coordination within a passive-to-active continuum of managerial approaches. Sectoral differences are situated and integrated within this framework. Second, this article provides an empirically based investigation of a quasi-natural experiment that examines sector-based differences in mixed-sector workforce development networks in Boston. The article's findings suggest that integrating sector-based orientations within a passive-to-active network managerial continuum helps clarify and categorize the strategic options and trade-offs that managers may consider in coordinating multisectoral networks.


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