Ways of Knowing and Inclusive Management Practices

Source: Martha S. Feldman, Anne M. Khademian, Helen Ingram, and Anne S. Schneider, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

How can public managers constructively intervene to engage stakeholders in new ways of knowing about and resolving the public issues they confront? This article offers important new perspectives on how policy issues can better be understood as fluid policy networks and how public managers in particular can facilitate the framing of such issues to improve public deliberations and achieve constructive policy results.

The authors engage structural and agentic perspectives to examine opportunities for deliberation and the purposeful role of managers in creating those opportunities. Drawing on actor-network theory as a way of understanding the process of structuring knowledge, this essay focuses on the continuous enactment and reenactment of networks of human and nonhuman actants and the associations that connect them. This thinking is applied to policy issues, which the authors propose should be understood as ways of knowing. The fluidity of such ways of knowing provides opportunities for public managers to use the inclusive practices associated with boundary experiences, boundary objects, and boundary organizations to facilitate deliberation.

Citizen-Centered Collaborative Public Management

Source: Terry L. Cooper, Thomas A. Bryer, and Jack W. Meek, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

This article begins with a brief history of civic engagement in the United States and the develops a conceptual model of five approaches to civic engagement based on how each one contributes to citizen-centered collaborative management and enhances civic-centered collaboration, The authors point out fruitful ways to advance empirical research on this crucial topic, which can assist practicing public managers and promote active citizenship among individuals.

Varieties of Participation in Complex Governance

Source: Archon Fung, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

What are the central challenges of governance through collaborative networks? The author outlines three crucial challenges: Who participates? How do participants communicate with one another? And do such links achieve successful public action? The article offers a useful framework for comprehending these three problems, concluding that citizens can be “the shock troops for democracy,” and their active involvement may in fact yield rich pragmatic benefits for self-government. An analytic approach that jettisons preconceptions about what participatory democracy is all about remains fundamental to realizing this goal.

The multifaceted challenges of contemporary governance demand a complex account of the ways in which those who are subject to laws and policies should participate in making them. This article develops a framework for understanding the range of institutional possibilities for public participation. Mechanisms of participation vary along three important dimensions: who participates, how participants communicate with one another and make decisions together, and how discussions are linked with policy or public action. These three dimensions constitute a space in which any particular mechanism of participation can be located. Different regions of this institutional design space are more and less suited to addressing important problems of democratic governance such as legitimacy, justice, and effective administration.

Inside Collaborative Networks: Ten Lessons for Public Managers

Source: Robert Agranoff, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

Based on extensive empirical research with federal, state and local government managers who work within intergovernmental collaborative networks, this article suggests new ways in which public agencies can overcome nettlesome policy conundrums while advancing the public interest. Although networks may differ significantly from organization to organization, the author emphasizes that the “era of networks” is a modern-day administrative reality that requires effective management, much like any other organizational structure.

This paper offers practical insights for public managers as they work within interorganizational networks. It is based on the author’s empirical study of 14 networks involving federal, state, and local government managers working with nongovernmental organizations. The findings suggest that networks are hardly crowding out the role of public agencies; though they are limited in their decision scope, they can add collaborative public value when approaching nettlesome policy and program problems.

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.

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.

Collaboration Processes: Inside the Black Box

Source: Ann Marie Thompson and James L. Perry, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

Social science literature contains a remarkable wealth of information that can enhance our understanding of collaborative management. Drawing on these findings, the authors conceptualize a complex construct of five variable dimensions: governance, administration, organizational autonomy, mutuality, and norms. The authors explore these five dimensions of collaboration, arguing that public managers must not only understand each one thoroughly but also manage them simultaneously.

Managing Boundaries in American Administration: The Collaboration Imperative

Source: Donald F. Kettl, Public Administration Review, December 2006, Vol. 66 supplement

Complex organizational boundaries both assist and inhibit policy making across many fields today, from homeland security to welfare reform to health care. This article explores the difficulties of matching administrative systems to policy resolutions through the lens of organizational boundaries – their roles, where they are, how they are drawn, why they are critical in dealing with administrative issues, the trade-offs in their design, and the collaborative roles that may help in devising strategies to bring public administration systems in sync with their multisector operating systems.

A Solution in Search of a Problem? Discrimination, Affirmative Action, and the New Public Service

Source: Sally Coleman Selden, Public Administration Review, November/December 2006, Vol. 66 no. 6

Since the arrival of equal opportunity and affirmative action in the 1960s, government employment has become a major force for social mobility among disadvantaged groups and had made the public workforce more broadly representative of the population at large. Is a representative workforce still necessary to ensure equitable outcomes? Alternatively, have societal attitudes changed sufficiently that a competent workforce – assembled on the basis of merit alone, irrespective of race, ethnicity, or gender – is capable of ensuring desired policy outcomes?

Unequal Pay: The Role of Gender

Source: Mohamad G. Alkadry and Leslie E. Tower, Public Administration Review, November/December 2006, Vol. 66 no. 6

This essay, reporting on the results of a large-scale nationwide survey of public employees, detects a persistent gender bias in government wages despite applicable antibias statutes, considerable advocacy by interest groups, and alleged social change over the last 30 years. A complex mix of factors contributes to this inequity, including glass ceilings, labor segregation, and shorter job tenure, presumably to fulfill traditional female family roles. So what can be done about such wage disparities based on gender?