The Collaborative Public Manager

The Collaborative Public Manager: New Ideas for the Twenty-first Century

Rosemary O’Leary
Lisa Blomgren Bingham
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 336
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  • Book Info
    The Collaborative Public Manager
    Book Description:

    Today's public managers not only have to function as leaders within their agencies, they must also establish and coordinate multi-organizational networks of other public agencies, private contractors, and the public. This important transformation has been the subject of an explosion of research in recent years. The Collaborative Public Manager brings together original contributions by some of today's top public management and public policy scholars who address cutting-edge issues that affect government managers worldwide. State-of-the-art empirical research reveals why and how public managers collaborate and how they motivate others to do the same. Examining tough issues such as organizational design and performance, resource sharing, and contracting, the contributors draw lessons from real-life situations as they provide tools to meet the challenges of managing conflict within interorganizational, interpersonal networks. This book pushes scholars, students, and professionals to rethink what they know about collaborative public management-and to strive harder to achieve its full potential.

    eISBN: 978-1-58901-584-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Chapter 1 Public Managers in Collaboration
    (pp. 1-12)
    Rosemary O’Leary, Beth Gazley, Michael McGuire and Lisa Blomgren Bingham

    With the evolution from government to governance, public management scholars have given renewed attention to forms of organization that cross agency boundaries. In this book, we focus on collaborative public management and, more particularly, on the latest empirical research by some of the leading scholars in the field of public management, public policy, and public affairs. Public managers who work collaboratively find themselves not solely as unitary leaders of unitary organizations. Instead, they often find themselves facilitating and operating in multiorganizational networked arrangements to solve problems that cannot be solved, or solved easily, by single organizations. This phenomenon has been...

  6. Part I Why Public Managers Collaborate
    • [Part I Introduction]
      (pp. 13-14)

      When the city of Menlo Park, California, adopted a collaborative budgeting process in 2006–7, city officials ended up working with 225 residents to try to figure out a way to allocate scarce resources. Why did they not just do it themselves? Why do public managers collaborate? Is it public relations? Is it because they are forced to do so? Is it to lessen the impact of budget shortfalls? Is it to make better decisions?

      Why public managers collaborate and the challenges that ensue from that collaboration are the subjects of the chapters in part I. Each chapter attacks the...

    • Chapter 2 Resource Sharing: How Resource Attributes Influence Sharing System Choices
      (pp. 15-30)
      Mary Tschirhart, Alejandro Amezcua and Alison Anker

      Interorganizational collaborations are being promoted as a way to address complex social problems and achieve competitive advantages. But research studies find that collaborating can be a frustrating and disappointing experience or even be a partnership only on paper (Huxham and Vangen 2000; Lasker, Weiss, and Miller 2001). The management literature is awash with models attempting to define and describe collaboration and empirically identify antecedents and outcomes. The diversity in conceptualizations of collaboration and choice and in the measurement of study variables makes it difficult to compare empirical research findings and draw strong conclusions about how to foster and maintain effective...

    • Chapter 3 To Participate or Not to Participate? Incentives and Obstacles for Collaboration
      (pp. 31-52)
      Rachel Fleishman

      Collaboration is more than a management buzzword. For many government agencies, collaboration has become the primary means of coping with modern problems, such as complexity in the policy process, turbulent environments, dispersion of resources and expertise, and the constant flow of new information. One highly integrated collaborative structure is the “interorganizational network”—a web of organizations that engage in collaborative activities, often bound together by relationships of mutual dependency. Interorganizational networks are becoming increasingly common in policy areas where resources are dispersed and jurisdictions are shared and overlapping, such as health services (Provan and Milward 1995), social services (Selden, Sowa,...

    • Chapter 4 Partner Selection and the Effectiveness of Interorganizational Collaborations
      (pp. 53-70)
      Elizabeth A. Graddy and Bin Chen

      Two themes have characterized public management research and practice over the past two decades: an emphasis on interorganizational partnerships and a focus on performance. As governments have faced more complex problems and increased demand for their limited resources, they have turned to external partners for help. In many services and many governments throughout the world, these partnerships of public and private service providers are replacing the traditional model of direct service delivery by public agencies. As a result, the role of public managers has been transformed from direct service providers to facilitators and coordinators of networks and collaboration across public,...

    • Chapter 5 The New Professionalism and Collaborative Activity in Local Emergency Management
      (pp. 71-94)
      Michael McGuire

      As the first passage above by Stanley and Waugh suggests, much is changing in the world of emergency and disaster management. The scale of emergencies has grown—as demonstrated by the recent hurricanes, tsunamis, wildfires, and terrorist attacks—and the concomitant demands placed on emergency managers are growing as well. The increasing size and scope of disasters and emergencies suggest that no longer can a community rely on untrained nonprofessionals to prepare for, mitigate against, respond to, and recover from disasters. As Drabek and McEntire argue above, today’s emergency managers are multiorganizational managers who must operate across intergovernmental and intersectoral...

    • Chapter 6 Calming the Storms: Collaborative Public Management, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and Disaster Response
      (pp. 95-114)
      Alisa Hicklin, Laurence J. O’Toole Jr., Kenneth J. Meier and Scott E. Robinson

      As scholars have explored the relationship between public management and organizational performance, a considerable body of work has identified interorganizational collaboration as an effective strategy to improve performance. These studies show a number of benefits that can be linked to the presence of a more collaborative public manager. As managers build relationships with other groups in the interdependent environment, these links often result in higher levels of support for the organization, joint ventures in pursuing policy goals, avenues for the acquisition of additional resources, and opportunities to proactively address some possible threats to the organization and its programs. Given the...

  7. Part II How Public Managers Collaborate
    • [Part II Introduction]
      (pp. 115-116)

      How do public managers collaborate? The mechanisms of collaboration are as varied as the public managers who do the collaboration. Privatization is one of the managerial tools at the disposal of public managers. Contracting out in whole or in part is another tool. Working side by side with the public is another form of collaboration. Each chapter in part II examines how public managers collaborate through different lenses.

      How the tool of privatization is used to navigate complicated networks of service provision that require collaborative public management—both intersectorally with nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and other public agencies, and intergovernmentally...

    • Chapter 7 Understanding the Collaborative Public Manager: Exploring Contracting Patterns and Performance for Service Delivery by State Administrative Agencies in 1998 and 2004
      (pp. 117-136)
      Jeffrey L. Brudney, Chung-Lae Cho and Deil S. Wright

      At the outset of the twenty-first century, Kettl (2000, 488) noted the “transformation of governance,” arguing that, “in doing the peoples’ work, to a large and growing degree, American governments share responsibility with other levels of government, with private companies, and with nonprofit organizations.” He further observed that globalization and devolution have layered “new challenges that have strained the capacity of government—and their nongovernmental partners—to deliver high-quality services.” Contracting (out) for public services with third parties is one of those “new” challenges that has been evident for a considerable length of time (Mosher 1980; Salamon 1981). Although the...

    • Chapter 8 Collaboration and Relational Contracting
      (pp. 137-156)
      David M. Van Slyke

      In this volume, the role of the collaborative public manager is the central theme. Government contracting is one area in which collaboration is both praised and vilified. Contracting is a pragmatic tool of governance and the most frequently used form of privatization in the United States. It involves government agencies entering into formal relationships with a third party for the production of goods and/or provision of services. Governments at all levels have increasingly used contracting with other governments, nonprofits, and for-profit firms to deliver a wide range of public goods and/or services. Fundamentally, the argument is that contracting benefits the...

    • Chapter 9 Mechanisms for Collaboration in Emergency Management: ICS, NIMS, and the Problem with Command and Control
      (pp. 157-176)
      William L. Waugh Jr.

      The September 2001 attacks on the United States had a profound impact on the profession and practice of emergency management and on the nation’s approach to preparing for and responding to catastrophic disasters. Following the attacks, the government single-mindedly focused on the threat of terrorism. State and local emergency managers, however, remained concerned with and responsible for dealing with the more certain risks posed by hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfire, and other familiar hazards. The attacks also brought a fundamental change in the structure and process of emergency management, particularly because the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was largely disassembled and moved...

    • Chapter 10 Collaborative Public Management and Organizational Design: One-Stop Shopping Structures in Employment and Training Programs
      (pp. 177-194)
      Jay Eungha Ryu and Hal G. Rainey

      The present study indicates success in the “one-stop service” approach to the decades-old quest for providing integrated service for clients of the many different employment training programs that governments provide. Sometimes earnest advocates tout the desirability of a particular procedure or approach, such as collaboration (or, similarly, teamwork or participative management) without adequate attention to designing structures and processes to support the procedure. Sometimes existing structures, such as “stovepiped” hierarchies, will negate the potential benefits of a desirable approach, such as collaboration or teamwork, if not reformed. The weak yet apparent success of one-stop service centers for employment and training...

  8. Part III How and Why Public Managers Get Others to Collaborate
    • [Part III Introduction]
      (pp. 195-196)

      The chapters in part III push our thinking about public managers getting others to collaborate. In chapter 11, Robert Alexander and Rosemary O’Leary study collaborative management behavior prompted by external stimuli to a relatively new federal agency, the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR). They examine the intersection of collaboration, legitimacy seeking, and organizational culture. Government organizations traditionally are characterized by a lack of competition. But in the case of the USIECR, competition and competitors are the two major variables affecting the evolution of this new organization. They also find that a statutory mandate requiring funding beyond direct appropriation...

    • Chapter 11 Collaborative Approaches to Public Organization Start-Ups
      (pp. 197-214)
      Robert Alexander and Rosemary O’Leary

      On February 11, 1998, Congress passed PL 105-156, the Environmental Policy and Conflict Resolution Act, creating the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR), a new federal organization housed in the Morris K. Udall Foundation and mandated to assist federal agencies involved in environmental conflicts.¹ Though the emergence of a new program in the federal government is nothing new, the USIECR faced a statutory requirement not seen in many other organizations: to work closely with regionally based professionals in delivering its services. Kirk Emerson, then a member of the research faculty at the University of Arizona’s Udall Center, was tapped...

    • Chapter 12 Synthesizing Practice and Performance in the Field of Environmental Conflict Resolution
      (pp. 215-232)
      Kirk Emerson

      Lisa Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary, in their conclusion to the December 2006 special issue on collaborative public management of the Public Administration Review (PAR), describe the “parallel play” occurring in the research on collaboration by scholars of public administration and management and by researchers studying conflict resolution. They suggest that a synthesis across these disciplinary lines is missing, as demonstrated by the articles in the PAR special issue (Bingham and O’Leary 2006, 161–65).

      I agree with this conclusion from the dual perspective of a public manager and a conflict resolution practitioner. This “parallel play” is not only occurring in...

    • Chapter 13 A Public Administration Education for the Third-Party Governance Era: Reclaiming Leadership of the Field
      (pp. 233-254)
      Paul L. Posner

      The publication of this volume reflects a historic shift in the practice of public administration. Public administrators have been pressed to, in effect, create new models of public action that differ markedly from the organizational and bureaucratic models that have characterized traditional public administration. Governments at all levels have been called upon in the past half century to expand their roles in the social and economic life of the nation. These roles go well beyond their own capacities, resources, and legitimacy. Accordingly, policymakers and agencies have adopted a wide range of tools that distribute responsibility and authority for financing and...

    • Chapter 14 Surprising Findings, Paradoxes, and Thoughts on the Future of Collaborative Public Management Research
      (pp. 255-270)
      Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham

      In this chapter, we review a number of surprising findings our contributors have made in their studies of public managers in collaboration. These findings, and the work that supports them, lead us to identify a number of dimensions along which collaboration paradoxically leads to conflict. We briefly review a framework for addressing this conflict in collaborative networks. Then we close with a call for building on the contributions of this book by engaging in assessment and evaluation of the work of collaborative public managers across the policy continuum, from upstream in policy development to midstream in its implementation and downstream...

  9. References
    (pp. 271-298)
  10. Contributors
    (pp. 299-302)
  11. Index
    (pp. 303-320)