Collaborating to Manage: A Primer for the Public Sector

Georgetown University Press
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Collaborating to Manage captures the basic ideas and approaches to public management in an era where government must partner with external organizations as well as other agencies to work together to solve difficult public problems. In this primer, Robert Agranoff examines current and emergent approaches and techniques in intergovernmental grants and regulation management, purchase-of-service contracting, networking, public/nonprofit partnerships and other lateral arrangements in the context of the changing public agency. As he steers the reader through various ways of coping with such organizational richness, Agranoff offers a deeper look at public management in an era of shared public program responsibility within governance.

Geared toward professionals working with the new bureaucracy and for students who will pursue careers in the public or non-profit sectors, Collaborating to Manage is a student-friendly book that contains many examples of real-world practices, lessons from successful cases, and summaries of key principles for collaborative public management.

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About the author

Robert Agranoff is professor emeritus in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Bloomington and is affiliated with the Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset in Madrid. He is the author of Managing within Networks and coauthor of Collaborative Public Management, which received the Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Aug 6, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781589019171
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Affairs & Administration
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Local governments do not stand alone—they find themselves in new relationships not only with state and federal government, but often with a widening spectrum of other public and private organizations as well. The result of this re-forming of local governments calls for new collaborations and managerial responses that occur in addition to governmental and bureaucratic processes-as-usual, bringing locally generated strategies or what the authors call "jurisdiction-based management" into play.

Based on an extensive study of 237 cities within five states, Collaborative Public Management provides an in-depth look at how city officials work with other governments and organizations to develop their city economies and what makes these collaborations work. Exploring the more complex nature of collaboration across jurisdictions, governments, and sectors, Agranoff and McGuire illustrate how public managers address complex problems through strategic partnerships, networks, contractual relationships, alliances, committees, coalitions, consortia, and councils as they function together to meet public demands through other government agencies, nonprofit associations, for-profit entities, and many other types of nongovernmental organizations.

Beyond the "how" and "why," Collaborative Public Management identifies the importance of different managerial approaches by breaking them down into parts and sequences, and describing the many kinds of collaborative activities and processes that allow local governments to function in new ways to address the most nettlesome public challenges.

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Networks have been described in terms of metaphors, governance arrangements and structural or institutional arrangements. These different perspectives of networks come out of a variety of disciplines, including political science, public administration, urban affairs, social welfare, public management and organizational/sociological research. This wealth of research, while contributing to a deeper understanding of networks, presents a dilemma which is addressed by this book. That is the question of whether there is a theory of public networks that informs networks in their various forms, and is there a need for a new theory of networks? More importantly, is network research still relevant to practice? Does network theory improve the process of governance? Are different terms and/or approaches actually the same or different? What do these different approaches mean to theory?

This book deeply explores and integrates existing network theory and related theories from a number of perspectives, levels and jurisdictions to develop a framework to guide network design, governance and management. The book focuses on the important issue of network performance, looking at networks as bounded and consciously arranged; the actors who participate in them design the relationships among a bounded set of individual organizations to purse common objectives. Finally, the chapters tease out the variety of governance modes or regimes that intersect with network governance. This book offers a comprehensive, integrative, interdisciplinary approach that enables specialists, practitioners and administrators across a wide array of interests and fields to formulate and work on problems using a common language, analytical framework and theoretical basis.

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