Research Briefing, October 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:

  • public value theory in a society that requires cross-sector solutions,
  • the connection between public value creation and collaborative innovation,
  • cross-sector collaborative data sharing,
  • university-industry collaborations,
  • the risks that could prevent the growth of the social impact bond market,
  • and the evolution of the collective impact framework.

Towards a Multi-actor Theory of Public Value Co-creation,” Public Management Review, John Bryson, Alessandro Sancino, John Benington, and Eva Sørensen

Abstract: “This essay suggests changes to the theory of public value and, in particular, the strategic triangle framework, in order to adapt it to an emerging world where policy makers and managers in the public, private, voluntary and informal community sectors have to somehow separately and jointly create public value. One set of possible changes concerns what might be in the centre of the strategic triangle besides the public manager. Additional suggestions are made concerning how multiple actors, levels, arenas and/or spheres of action, and logics might be accommodated. Finally, possibilities are outlined for how the strategic triangle might be adapted to complex policy fields in which there are multiple, often conflicting organizations, interests and agendas. In other words, how might politics be more explicitly accommodated. The essay concludes with a number of research suggestions.”

Public Value Creation through Collaborative Innovation,” Public Management Review, Barbara Crosby, Paul ‘t Hart, and Jacob Torfing

Abstract: “This article explores how public managers can use insights about public sector innovation and public value governance to make more than incremental progress in remedying society’s most pressing needs. After outlining the features of public innovation, it considers some traditional barriers to achieving it. It then considers the usefulness of the public value framework for managers seeking to design innovative solutions for complex problems, and examines the type of leadership that is likely to foster collaborative innovation and public value. It finishes by offering levers for achieving innovation by adopting design logics and practices associated with inclusive, experimentalist governance.”

Interorganizational Collaboration in Public Health Data Sharing,” Journal of Health Organization and Management, Colleen Casey, Jianling Li, and Michele Berry

The article analyzes the institutional and social forces that influence collaborative data sharing practices in cross-sector interorganizational networks. The analysis focuses on the data sharing practices between professionals in the transportation and public health sectors, areas prioritized for collaborative action to improve public health.

A mixed methods design is utilized. Electronic surveys were sent to 57 public health and 157 transportation professionals in a large major metropolitan area in the United States (response rate 39.7%). Focus groups were held with 12 organizational leaders representing professionals in both sectors.

The application of the institutional-social capital framework suggests that professional specialization and organizational forces make it challenging for professionals to develop the cross-sector relationships necessary for cross-sector collaborative data sharing.

Research limitations/implications
The findings suggest that developing the social relationships necessary for cross-sector collaboration may be resource intensive. Investments are necessary at the organizational level to overcome the professional divides that limit the development of cross-sector relationships critical for collaborative data sharing. The results are limited to the data sharing practices of professionals in one metropolitan area.

Despite mandates and calls for increased cross-sector collaboration to improve public health, such efforts often fail to produce true collaboration. The study’s value is that it adds to the theoretical conceptualization of collaboration and provides a deeper understanding as to why collaborative action remains difficult to achieve. Future study of collaboration must consider the interaction between professional specialization and the social relationships necessary for success.”

Effects of University-Industry Collaboration on Technological Newness of Firms,” The Journal of Product Innovation Management, Alexander Wirsich, Alexander Kock, Christoph Strumann, and Carsten Schultz

Abstract: “Exploring new technological opportunities and reacting to environmental changes are key factors for firm performance. Collaborating with external partners, especially universities, is considered to be a powerful engine of technological development. However, there are several barriers associated with university–industry collaboration (UIC), such as divergent cultures and competing objectives. Previous studies show rather mixed effects regarding the purported benefits of UIC, and empirical evidence on the effects of UIC on technological newness of innovation is lacking. This study investigates whether and under which conditions UIC enhances the recombination of extant knowledge across technologies and facilitates the implementation of novel technologies at the firm level. The paper is based on the resource based view of the firm and analyzes the interaction between collaboration diversity and UIC intensity. This longitudinal analysis examines joint publications and the patent data of 318 technology-oriented companies from the S&P 500 Index in the years 1985–2007. This study focuses on technological newness as the dependent variable, defined as the extent to which new technology fields are discovered as a result of either exploration of completely new technologies or the novel combination of existing technology fields. Results show that UIC has a significant positive effect on technological newness, with a time lag of two years. The effect follows an inverted U-shaped pattern in UIC portfolios with high diversity, and a U-shaped pattern when diversity is low.”

Improving Social Impact Bonds: Assessing Alternative Financial Models to Scale Pay-for-Success,” Harvard Kennedy School, Nicholas Bergfeld, David Klausner, and Matus Samel

Abstract: “Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) represent a new and innovative tool for promoting social welfare. If implemented correctly, they could represent a new frontier for public-private partnerships and philanthropic-private contracts. The limitations on the private provisioning of social welfare programs are decreasing, and recent technology allows for more accurate cost-benefit analysis and the measurement of more meaningful performance indicators. Taken together, these factors increase the technical feasibility of SIBs. …

This policy analysis describes in detail the risks and barriers that could prevent the growth of the SIB market and hinder its adoption as a useful means of providing social services. …

Through our analysis, we have determined that intermediaries and policymakers should attempt to scale the SIB market using a private equity intermediary model. This model requires the fewest number of regulatory and policy changes to be successful and results in the organic growth of the SIB market. Financial investors stand to gain through effective risk diversification, and intermediaries benefit as they increase their internal capacity to evaluate the risks in implementing social programs. This growth in assessment capabilities decreases the dependency on governments and other types of specialized intermediaries, thereby decreasing the overall transaction costs of SIB contract construction, origination, and implementation.”

Collective Impact 3.0: An Evolving Framework for Community Change,” Mark Cabaj and Liz Weaver, Tamarack Institute

Abstract: “This article is the first of a series which will lay out a number of upgrades to the CI framework. We call it Collective Impact 3.0, a term that emerged during our annual CI summit in Vancouver in 2015. At that event, we described the evolution of CI in terms of three phases. The 1.0 phase refers to the days prior to 2011 when diverse groups spontaneously prototyped CI practices without reference to the patterns identified by FSG. The 2.0 phase spans the five years following Kania and Kramer’s article. Many communities adopted the CI framework laid out there, and FSG made diligent efforts to track, codify, and assess this second generation of CI initiatives. In the third phase, Collective Impact 3.0, the push is to deepen, broaden and adapt CI based on yet another generation of initiatives.”