Research Briefing, December 2017

blogimage_researchbriefingEach month, there is new, fascinating research emerging that provides practical insight into how the government, business, and non-profit sectors partner to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers up to date on this work, which comes from a variety of academic and non-academic sources, we compile a monthly briefing and publish it on our blog — for researchers who want to stay up to date on progress in the field of cross-sector collaboration and practitioners who are interested in how this research may be applicable to their work.

This month’s briefing includes articles about:

  • network structures and governance performance in clean energy development,
  • the collaborative mechanisms of supplier development practices,
  • the equity/development trade-off in cross-sector collaborations for education,
  • factors that influence multi-sectoral partnerships in chronic disease prevention, and
  • the motivations and perceptions of risk of various pay-for-success stakeholders.

Network Structure and Governance Performance: What Makes a Difference?,” Public Administration Review, Hongtao Yi

Abstract: “Comparing and evaluating the performance of governance networks are important tasks for researchers and practitioners of network governance and public administration. Limited by the lack of network data across space and time, the study of network performance and effectiveness at the network level is not on pace with advances in theories and methodologies in network analysis. With a novel methodology to measure clean energy governance networks using hyperlink network analysis across the contiguous United States, this article collects a large sample of self-organizing policy networks in the same policy domain across geographic locations. This article proposes that governance networks with high overall bridging and bonding social capital perform better. Regression analyses show that network structures have statistically significant effects on governance outcomes. States with high average closeness and average clustering in their governance networks are more likely to have faster clean energy development.”

Supplier Development Practices for Sustainability: A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective,” Business Strategy and the Environment, Lingxuan Liu et al.

Abstract: “Supplier development for sustainability is a critical element of sustainable supply chain management and requires extensive multi-stakeholder collaboration. This article establishes a conceptual four-stage framework to analyse the collaborative mechanisms of supplier development practices, and presents an exploratory, qualitative analysis to identify the major contributors of sustainable supplier development practices, such as NGOs, industrial associations, consulting firms etc. Based on semi-structured interviews about 63 organizations from different regions and industries, this article identifies three types of contributor: drivers, facilitators and inspectors. Instead of traditional stakeholder engagement processes, these contributors actively collaborate with buying firms and suppliers to design, implement and evaluate sustainable supplier development programs. The article then provides a matrix to describe the supply chain coverage and supplier performance of supplier development practices, given the absence or positive involvement of facilitators and inspectors. We conclude our study by suggesting future research directions as well as discussing managerial implications.

Blurring Lines? How Locally Based Collaborations Handle the Redistribution/Development Tradeoff,” Urban Affairs Review, Melissa Arnold Lyon and Jeffrey R. Henig

Abstract: “The tension between the pursuit of equity versus economic growth has been a central focus on the field of urban politics. Although local governance regimes have tended to focus on growth policies and the accommodation of business interests, regime theorists have argued that it is possible, albeit challenging, to construct sustainable coalitions to support equity agendas. In this article, we empirically examine the equity/development trade-off with a focus on the renewed interest in locally based, cross-sector collaborations for educational improvement, providing a nuanced picture of how these initiatives present themselves to the public. We find that a substantial proportion of initiatives describe themselves as equity oriented or both equity and economic growth oriented. Labeling these education initiatives as growth oriented is more typical of collaborations that started in prior decades, whereas an orientation toward equity is more common in collaborations with greater union and community organization representation and those affiliated with national networks.”

Understanding and Improving Multi-sectoral Partnerships for Chronic Disease Prevention: Blending Conceptual and Practical Insights,” Evidence & Policy, Cameron Willis, Julie Greene, and Barbara Riley

Abstract: “Inter-organisational partnerships are widely used approaches in public health and chronic disease prevention (CDP), and may include organisations from different sectors, such as research-policy-practice sectors, inter-governmental sectors, or public and private sectors. While multiple conceptual frameworks related to multi-sectoral partnerships exist, they do not reflect the interactions among key factors that influence the performance of partnerships, including those involving public-private partners for CDP. Using system mapping, this project sought to propose potential linkages among factors that influence multi-sectoral partnerships through blending insights from conceptual frameworks with the experiences of a government agency involved in brokering multi-sectoral partnerships for CDP.”

Why Governments and Investors Choose Pay for Success,” Urban Institute, Kelly Walsh et al.

Abstract: “Pay for success (PFS) has merits that make it appealing to many stakeholders: it can save governments money, shift the risk of ineffective programs to third-party funders, provide multiyear funding for service providers, and generate a modest return for investors. But these benefits are paired with significant challenges, such as long planning periods and investor returns that may not be commensurate with the risk. Given these considerations, it is fair to ask, ‘Why does anyone want to do this?’ This brief presents insights on the motivations and perceptions of risk from several PFS investors and government stakeholders and concludes with recommendations on how PFS project champions can leverage partner motivations to help move projects forward.

Other recently released research on cross-sector collaboration: