The Design and Implementation of Cross-Sector Collaborations: Propositions from the

Source: John M. Bryson, Barbara C. Crosby, and Melissa Middleton Stone, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

This article addresses the problem of cross-sector collaboration, which the authors defines as the linking and sharing of organizational information resources, activities, and capabilities in order to achieve solutions that single agencies cannot. The authors not only explain why cross-sector collaboration is essential in dealing with pressing 21st-century policy dilemmas but also suggest a propositional inventory for reframing our understanding of these problems that is vital for an improved research agenda on cross-sector collaboration.

People who want to tackle tough social problems and achieve beneficial community outcomes are beginning to understand that multiple sectors of a democratic society—business, nonprofits and philanthropies, the media, the community, and government—must collaborate to deal effectively and humanely with the challenges. This article focuses on cross-sector collaboration that is required to remedy complex public problems. Based on an extensive review of the literature on collaboration, the article presents a propositional inventory organized around the initial conditions affecting collaboration formation, process, structural and governance components, constraints and contingencies, outcomes, and accountability issues.

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