Research Briefing, September 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:

  • the value proposition for each partner in a collaboration,
  • the effect of organizational forms and managerial strategies on partnership outcomes,
  • the role of public-private partnerships in mitigating environmental risks in urban development,
  • information sharing in food systems networks,
  • the origins of New York City’s public-private parks in the 1970s,
  • and the need for a language to shape the thinking and practice of collaboration.

Outcomes to Partners in Multi-Stakeholder Cross-Sector Partnerships: A Resource-Based View,” Business & Society, Amelia Clarke and Adriane MacDonald

Abstract: “The prevalence and complexity of local sustainable development challenges require coordinated action from multiple actors in the business, public, and civil society sectors. Large multi-stakeholder partnerships that build capacity by developing and leveraging the diverse perspectives and resources of partner organizations are becoming an increasingly popular approach to addressing such challenges. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are designed to address and prioritize a social problem, so it can be challenging to define the value proposition to each specific partner. Using a resource-based view, this study examines partner outcomes from the perspective of the strategic interest of the partner as distinct from the strategic goal of the partnership. Based on 47 interviews with representatives of partner organizations in four Canadian case studies of community sustainability plan implementation, this article details 10 resources partners can gain from engaging in a multi-stakeholder partnership.”

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: 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.”

Governing Urban Development for Climate Risk: What Role for Public-Private Partnerships?,” Environment and Planning: Government and Policy, Bruce M. Taylor and Ben P. Harman

Abstract: “Urban partnerships are an instrument of urban governance common in major urban development projects. However, the potential for these traditional urban policy instruments to promote climate-adapted greenfield development remains largely untested. This study examines this potential through an analysis of four urban development partnerships for master-planned estates in two rapidly urbanising regions of Australia. We interview private property developers, government land organisations and municipal level actors. The analysis focuses on the convergence, and tensions, between partners’ goals of affordability, profitability and sustainability; benefits and risks of partnering; and, the management of assets over time, in light of environmental risks. The partnerships studied contributed to the state’s capacity to implement policy efficiently, encourage innovation and de-risk projects for private partners. However, these initiatives also transferred longer term environmental risks to the broader planning system and to non-partners. The central role of the state in coordinating these arrangements presents opportunities to redress these limitations.”

The Critical Role of Information Sharing to the Value Proposition of a Food Systems Network,” Public Management Review, Christopher Koliba, Serge Wiltshire, Steven Scheinert, Drake Turner, Asim Zia, and Erica Campbell

Abstract: “With goal-directed networks being used so extensively as a strategy to achieve ‘collective impact,’ increased attention is being paid to the investment of participating member organizations’ time, and informational, financial, and human capital in these efforts. Authors draw on the concept of ‘value proposition’ from the business and public administration literature and use extensive network data from a food systems planning network to test hypotheses focusing on the positionality of member organizations within specific operational subnetworks by correlating positionality with multiple assessments of value. Results indicate that embeddedness in the information sharing subnetwork most strongly correlates with member value proposition.”

We’re Doing It Ourselves”: The Unexpected Origins of New York City’s Public–Private Parks during the 1970s Fiscal Crisis,” Journal of Planning History, Suleiman Osman

Abstract: “While the privatization of parks has been controversial since the 1980s, the origins of public–private parks in New York City were complex. During the 1970s fiscal crisis, the Parks and Recreation Department suffered severe budget cuts and was forced to drastically reduce services. Faced with parks that were falling apart, thousands of volunteers in block associations and community groups began to maintain parks on their own. They pioneered a radical forms of ‘do-it-yourself’ urbanism with guerrilla horticulture, community gardens, children-fashioned adventure playgrounds, tree-planting drives, makeshift ambulances, and volunteer patrols. By the early 1980s, these ‘self-help’ efforts coalesced into new public–private parks. The history of public–private parks is thus one of privatizations in the plural and points to an array of antistatist impulses that emerged on both the left and right in the 1970s.”

Collaborative Networks and the Need for a New Management Language,” Public Management Review, Myrna Mandell, Robyn Keast, and Dan Chamberlain

Abstract: “Language is a key element for the formation of social identity and cohesion and is important for setting the tone for the way that people behave with and to each other. The aim of this paper is to highlight the need for a distinct language that better describes and shapes the thinking and practice of collaborative networks and collaboration generally. We argue that development of a specialized language for collaborative networks is necessary to better reflect their distinctive characteristics and operating logic, including higher levels of cohesion, communication and collective action. Using two collaborative case examples we specifically focus on how this new language engenders changed, more collaborative practice and relates to the unique way management and leadership are practiced in collaborative networks.”