The Collaborative Public Manager

The Collaborative Public Manager

The Collaborative Public Manager

The Collaborative Public Manager

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

Rosemary O'Leary, Beth Gazley, Michael McGuire, and Lisa Blomgren Bingha

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 the subject of an explosion of research in recent years.

This new collaborative public management scholarship responds in part to the growth of networks of public, private, and nonprofit organizations; the context, environment, and constraints within which they work; the situation of the public manager in a network; these networks' governance processes and decision rules; how they define their work, tasks, and goals; and their impact on public policy and the policy process. The collaborative public management literature uses a variety of “sound bites” to describe the importance of this phenomenon to our field. Sometimes, scholars talk about the public manager's “toolkit” or “strategies.” Sometimes, they talk about collaborative public management as an “option” or a “choice.” Sometimes, they refer to it as a “model” or a “structure” within which managers find themselves. There is a tension between the literature on a manager's (or his or her organization's) individual choice to participate in a network and the literature that looks at these networks as . . .

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