Collaborative Public Management: Assessing What we Know and How We Know It

Source: Michael McGuire, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

The range and depth of serious collaborative public management research is extensive and, according to the author, promising. What does it tell us about the structural components, types of necessary skills for effective management, and possible outcomes for collaborative processes? A great deal, this article concludes, for both practicing administrators and academic researchers.

Collaborative public management research is flourishing. A great deal of attention is being paid to the process and impact of collaboration in the public sector, and the results are promising. This article reviews the literature on collaborative public management by synthesizing what we know from recent research and what we’ve known for quite some time. It addresses the prevalence of collaboration (both recently and historically), the components of emerging collaborative structures, the types of skills that are unique to collaborative management, and the effects of collaboration. Collaborative public management research offers a set of findings that contribute to an emerging knowledge base that supplements established public management theory.

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