Research Briefing, January 2016

blogimage_researchbriefingEach month, there is new, fascinating research emerging that provides practical insight into the intersector — the space where collaboration among government, business, and non-profit sectors enables leaders to share expertise, resources, and authority to address society’s most pressing problems. To keep our readers up to date, we compile a monthly briefing that captures the newest research, 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:

  • impact assessment and cross-sector partnerships,
  • the power, and potential tensions, in public-non-profit partnerships,
  • the redevelopment of Asheville, North Carolina,
  • and the impact of organizational forms on the success of P3s.

Enhancing the Impact of Cross-Sector Partnerships: Four Impact Loops for Channeling Partnership Studies,” Journal of Business Ethics, Rob van Tulder, M. May Seitanidi, Andrew Crane, and Stephen Brammer

Abstract: “This paper addresses the topic of this special symposium issue: how to enhance the impact of cross-sector partnerships. The paper takes stock of two related discussions: the discourse in cross-sector partnership research on how to assess impact and the discourse in impact assessment research on how to deal with more complex organizations and projects. We argue that there is growing need and recognition for cross-fertilization between the two areas. Cross-sector partnerships are reaching a paradigmatic status in society, but both research and practice need more thorough evidence of their impacts and of the conditions under which these impacts can be enhanced. This paper develops a framework that should enable a constructive interchange between the two research areas, while also framing existing research into more precise categories that can lead to knowledge accumulation. We address the preconditions for such a framework and discuss how the constituent parts of this framework interact. We distinguish four different pathways or impact loops that refer to four distinct orders of impact. The paper concludes by applying these insights to the four papers included in this special issue.”

Institutional Change and Management of Public-Non-profit Partnerships,” The American Review of Public Administration, David F. Suárez and Nicole Esparza

Abstract: “This article focuses attention on the institutional context of cross-sector collaboration and its effects on partnership management. Drawing on fieldwork and 54 interviews from 2011 to 2013, we investigate an innovative public–non-profit partnership within a local unit of the National Park Service. The collaboration demonstrates the power and potential of public–non-profit partnerships while revealing tensions that cross-sector activities can provoke in an organizational field. We focus on two ongoing processes of institutional change in the non-profit sector that shape these dynamics: (a) managerialism and (b) empowered agency. We illustrate these processes and suggest that they alter the context for partnerships in national parks, particularly with respect to capacity and control. We conclude by offering several propositions about institutional change and the broader implications of a shifting context for public–non-profit partnerships.”

The Homegrown Downtown: Redevelopment in Asheville, North Carolina,” Urban Affairs Review, Elizabeth Strom and Robert Kerstein

Abstract: “The successful transformation of Asheville’s downtown from desolate to vibrant is noteworthy. This article shows how successful redevelopment coalitions have shaped the downtown, with focus on the post-1980 period. In recent decades, public-sector officials and private investors have collaborated to create a downtown rooted in an architecturally significant historic built environment and based on independent business. Those most active have often crossed business, creative, and philanthropic sectors in ways we describe as “social entrepreneurial.” The Asheville downtown coalition differs from the progrowth as well as the populist (progressive) regimes identified in other literature, but offers insights into downtown development efforts as urban governance becomes more fragmented and city development policy more focused on tourism and consumption.”

In search for effective public-private partnerships: An assessment of the impact of organizational form and managerial strategies in urban regeneration partnerships using fsQCA,” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Ir. Michiel Kort, Stefan Verweij, and Erik-Hans Klijn

Abstract: “A public-private partnership (PPP) is an organizational arrangement in which knowledge and resources are pooled in order to realize outcomes. Although PPPs have become common practice in spatial planning and development, there is a continuous search for their ideal organizational form and management. This is fueled by the often poor performance in terms of e.g. time delays and budget overruns. Whilst comparative studies have been conducted into the outcomes of certain organizational forms and management strategies, fewer comparative studies evaluate their combined effects. The goal of this study is to explore what configurations of certain organizational forms and management may produce good outcomes. This is done by conducting a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of survey data of 50 managers involved in urban regeneration companies (URCs) in the Netherlands.”