Over the 30 years, public management and administration scholars have crossed disciplinary boundaries to build a body of scholarship on collaboration for public good, services, and values. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Public management and administration researchers need to integrate the scholarship on collaboration through systems thinking. How do we define collaboration? How do we distinguish among the categories of collaborative public management (CPM), collaborative governance (CG), and networks? How do systems and institutional context shape collaboration in these categories? Within these categories, what are our units of analysis: individual leadership, organizations, or groups in collaboration processes? How do we apply what we know to practice and design?
The work requires that the authors examine CPM, CG, and networks in their larger and nested institutional contexts to determine how they are related to and shape each other. The Institutional Analysis and Development framework may inform this work. CPM or networks may be nested in CG processes and structures in inter-governmental contexts.
Researchers need more clarity as to the context within which CPM, CG, and networks occur, and in units of analysis and the roles of individual people as managers and as agents of organizations, as distinguished from organizations as constructs.
Scholars need to apply research to practice related to designing systems and structures in which collaboration occurs.
As humankind faces increasingly complex and multifaceted policy problems that cross inter-governmental and international boundaries and require inter-sectoral work, managers and organizations must improve both the design of collaboration in governance and management and mastery of essential skills to participate in collaboration.
CPM, CG, and network research does not sufficiently incorporate or control for institutional context into research design.
Amsler, L.B. and O’Leary, R. (2017), "Collaborative public management and systems thinking", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 30 No. 6-7, pp. 626-639. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-07-2017-0187Download as .RIS
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