Public service delivery relies increasingly upon collaborative inter-organizational forms, and public managers often recur to institutional impositions to foster their creation. Lately, the evidence that command-and-control styles are ineffective in multi-organizational environments is spreading, by increasing the importance of addressing the actors’ voluntariness and motivations. This study explores the implications of bounded voluntariness (i.e. a condition in which institutional pressure by public managers still endures, although participation and commitment to the network are up to the actors’ will) on the network management, at both the strategic and operational level. A multiple case study has been conducted on four inter-organizational networks of healthcare providers, created to provide care to chronic patients. The results show that three managerial levels are present, neither of whom exerts full control over the networks. This fuzzy management condition hinders the harmonization of the actors’ goals and the efficiency of the activities. Surprisingly enough, it does not appear to be detrimental toward the ability of the networks to reach their expected goal, although concerns about the long-term sustainability of these arrangements emerge. This study is expected to contribute to the mostly conceptual literature about network management, by discussing the practical implications of managing networks in a public setting.

Managing Networks in Bounded Voluntariness: the individuals contribution

SEGATO, FEDERICA;MASELLA, CRISTINA
2014-01-01

Abstract

Public service delivery relies increasingly upon collaborative inter-organizational forms, and public managers often recur to institutional impositions to foster their creation. Lately, the evidence that command-and-control styles are ineffective in multi-organizational environments is spreading, by increasing the importance of addressing the actors’ voluntariness and motivations. This study explores the implications of bounded voluntariness (i.e. a condition in which institutional pressure by public managers still endures, although participation and commitment to the network are up to the actors’ will) on the network management, at both the strategic and operational level. A multiple case study has been conducted on four inter-organizational networks of healthcare providers, created to provide care to chronic patients. The results show that three managerial levels are present, neither of whom exerts full control over the networks. This fuzzy management condition hinders the harmonization of the actors’ goals and the efficiency of the activities. Surprisingly enough, it does not appear to be detrimental toward the ability of the networks to reach their expected goal, although concerns about the long-term sustainability of these arrangements emerge. This study is expected to contribute to the mostly conceptual literature about network management, by discussing the practical implications of managing networks in a public setting.
From Public Administration to XXI Century Collaborative Administration The role of public networks
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/852735
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