Research Briefing, March 2017

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

  • collaborative plans to address homelessness,
  • industry-university-government relationships for community management,
  • the effect of differing leadership types on collaboration during emergencies,
  • Dutch community enterprises,
  • the Advocacy Coalition Framework,
  • and business-NGO partnerships in Nigeria.

Collaboration, Strategic Plans, and Government Performance: The Case of Efforts to Reduce Homelessness,” Public Management Review, David Lee, Michael McGuire, and Jong Ho Kim

Abstract: “Practice has outpaced our empirical knowledge of the role and impact of collaboration on the design and effect of strategic plans. It is this lack of awareness and understanding of the phenomenon that motivates the research presented in this paper. We explore empirically the linkage between collaboratively developed strategic plans and governmental effort to ameliorate a public problem through a mixed-method approach using panel data analysis. The findings demonstrate that the existence of a collaborative strategic plan and the presence of various components of a plan’s design increase the number of beds made available for homeless individuals in the US. Homelessness is one of the most intractable social and economic problems in the US, but our analysis demonstrates that a collaborative plan design can be one mechanism to help address the problem.”

Extending Community Management to Industry-university-government Organizations,” R&D Management, Robin Gustafsson and Sirkka Jarvenpaa

Abstract: “There has been an emergence of collaborative research networks of industry-university-government relationships, or so-called Triple Helix (TH) organizations. Many TH organizations strive for research and innovation community management. In the innovation and knowledge management literature, community management offers open, participatory, and distributed innovation processes. How community management elements manifest, how they evolve, and what are related contingencies remain poorly understood, especially in the case of TH organizations. Our study examines how two TH organizations in Finland have adopted community management elements, how these elements have evolved, and the contingencies that have affected adoption and evolution. We report on the first 6 years of operations in two different TH organizations. Community-management elements have accommodated divergent interests in TH organizations, but they have also been subject to considerable degrees of conflict and tension. We extend the innovation community management literature by explicating community management elements in a TH context, we illustrate how TH organizations adopt and evolve these elements, and we identify two contingencies for community management elements in a TH context.”

Leadership Ideals as Barriers for Efficient Collaboration during Emergencies and Disasters,” Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Christian Uhr

Abstract: “In an emergency or disaster situation, it is likely that a conglomerate of societal resources will respond to various needs. In such a multi-organizational setting, collaboration becomes necessary. Empirical findings suggest that collaboration can be very problematical and this paper argues that a possible explanation can be found in intra-organizational leadership ideals, dysfunctional in a collaborative context. In order to facilitate a principal discussion, an analytical framework for discussing leadership and collaboration is suggested. Moreover, literature findings suggesting individual qualities facilitating collaboration are presented. Three leadership archetypes are used to problematize intra-organizational ideals in inter-organizational settings. It is suggested that more attention must be paid to qualities enabling individuals to operate simultaneously in different, and partly conflicting, management contexts.”

False Promises of Co-production in Neighbourhood Regeneration: The Case of Dutch Community Enterprises,” Public Management Review, Reinout Kleinhans

Abstract: “Many European countries are implementing austerity measures alongside trends of welfare state retrenchment. Entrepreneurial forms of active citizenship are considered as a new form of public management to fill gaps left by spending cuts and to continue neighbourhood regeneration. Inspired by British practices, Dutch citizens are trying to set up community enterprises (CEs) to provide services or other benefits for residents in deprived neighbourhoods. Based on a qualitative panel study, this article reveals supportive responses but also resistance from local governments and housing associations. Within a positive policy discourse on co-production, institutional responses often encompass forms of ‘counter-production’ that hold CEs in full uncertainty about crucial conditions for their business.”

There and Back Again: A Tale of the Advocacy Coalition Framework,” Policy Studies Journal, Jonathan J. Pierce, Holly L. Peterson, Michael D. Jones, Samantha P. Garrard, and Theresa Vu

Abstract: “To better understand how the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) is applied, this article catalogues and analyzes 161 applications of the ACF from 2007 to 2014. Building on a previous review of 80 applications of the ACF (1987–2006) conducted by Weible, Sabatier, and McQueen in 2009, this review examines both the breadth and depth of the framework. In terms of breadth, there are over 130 unique first authors from 25 countries, in almost 100 journals applying the framework, including a majority outside of the United States. In terms of depth, a plurality of applications analyzes environment and energy, subsystems at the national level, and utilizes qualitative methods of data collection and analyses. This review also explores how the three theoretical foci of the framework—advocacy coalitions, policy change, and policy-oriented learning—are applied. Our findings suggest that the ACF balances common approaches for applying the framework with the specificity of particular contexts.”

Environmental Business-NGO Partnerships in Nigeria: Issues and Prospects,” Business Strategy and the Environment, Uwafiokun Idemudia

Abstract: “A number of insightful efforts have explored the nature of business–NGO partnerships and their associated outcomes for sustainable development. While some of these works have helped to clarify the benefits of such partnerships, and the different strategies NGOs can adopt in their interaction with business, others have identified the conditions necessary for a successful partnership. However, the question of how the different strategies adopted by NGOs in their engagement with business interact has remained relatively unexamined. Drawing on an environmental business–NGO partnership for sustainable development in Nigeria, this paper confirms the existence of a creative tension between the different NGOs’ strategies. This creative tension affects the nature of the environmental partnership and performs three main functions. These are an enabling function, a discipline function, and a critical distance function. The article concludes by considering the theoretical and practical implications for business–NGO partnerships as a vehicle for sustainable development in developing countries.”