Cross-Sectoral Relations in the Delivery of Public Services: Volume 6

Cover of Cross-Sectoral Relations in the Delivery of Public Services

Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Performance management is the ‘Achilles heel’ of many reforms and public management practices and requires changes. Governance in general and co-production in particular impose an organizational setting which requires rethinking performance management, which is still conceptually embedded in New Public Management paradigm. This chapter builds on the latest co-production framework and service-dominant logic and outlines new challenges for rethinking performance measurement and management. It also discusses how public service design (PSD) may interact with them. As a result the need to shift between performance control loops has been emphasized, suggesting that service design may significantly support internal ex-nunc performance management. Although it should be facilitated in addressing some of the performance challenges, an outline of a framework for appropriate method has also been proposed.


This study aims at rereading public governance (PG) and public value management (PVM) in the light of viable systems approach (VSA). Starting from the common points and the dissimilarities between the two theories, an integrated framework for pinpointing the key drivers leading to the emersion of public value co-creation in a public system conception of governance is elaborated. An overview on the emersion of PVM and PG is conducted in order to identify the main features of the new mindset. Then, VSA’s assumptions also are analyzed (with particular focus on their managerial implications) and then subdivided into four macro-areas.

The combination of the two theories allows recognition of four levers (with relative postulates) for fostering public value co-creation: (1) strategic selection of actors; (2) establishment of system and relational boundaries; (3) pursuit of the fit strategy-tactics; (4) system governance diffusion. From a theoretical point of view, the study provides suggestions for the creation of a public system theory of governance. Regarding managerial standpoint, revealing the drivers for public value co-creation can aid managers to better elaborate strategies for stimulating actor’s engagement in order to challenge complexity and user’s demands variability.


In line with the reappraisal of the welfare state concept started in the 1980s and culminated in the recent economic crisis, governments have reduced the public funding available to cultural institutions. Thus, cultural institutions have progressively adopted more market-oriented practices, rethinking their relationship with the world of business in order to get additional economic resources. This chapter addresses corporate support to the arts and culture in the case of Italy, a country where government has traditionally played a central role in supporting culture. Drawing on the extant literature on sponsorships and corporate philanthropy, we propose a cluster analysis carried out on 160 investments in artistic or cultural activities made by 95 mid-sized Italian companies between 2008 and 2015. Results provide an up-to-date empirical evidence of corporate giving patterns in Italy and suggest an original typology of business investments in the arts and culture. Our study, focusing on the case of a Latin country and on a sample of mid-sized companies, extends the empirical settings usually investigated. Moreover, different from previous studies, we elucidate the influence that the characteristics of supporting organizations have on business investments in the arts and culture.


The chapter aims to compare public, private and non-profit working citizens’ preferences for cross-sectoral relations in England and Finland. Its main contribution is in identifying preferences in the delivery of services in the respective countries in which citizen choice has become an issue in times of public sector austerity. Challenges arise because in these two similarly institutionalized healthcare systems but pluralistic societies people have contrasting perspectives on the values that should guide policy decisions. The survey data was therefore collected in both England (N = 2,000) and Finland (N = 1,973) in 2013 from cities in which citizens have choices regarding health service delivery. Our informants in England anticipated more potential for better ‘privatized driven public interest’ than did those in Finland. Surprisingly, over 60% of public sector employees in England would like for-profit healthcare to carry main responsibility, and almost 55% of all employees agree with this. Almost 20% of respondents in both countries did not care who the service provider is if only services are available. Thus, the research has pioneering relevance for policymaking, public strategic management and the comparative empirical study of managing people’s preferences in cross-sectoral relations. We conclude that identifying working citizens’ preferences is crucial for effective utilization of current welfare services because the preferences derive from both service and work experience. In sum, strategically, this identification lets public managers balance biased images of the cross-sectoral differences and reconstruct functional hybridity of services.


An increasingly crucial role is played by nonprofit organizations (NPOs) as actors of collaborative governance arrangements for both the prioritization and direct provision of public interest services. Ever since the seminal study by Salamon and Anheier (1996), the drivers behind the rise in dimension and relevance of the third sector have been analyzed from different standpoints. It is now relevant to also analyze nonprofits not only as substitutes or complements to “classical” economic sectors such as government, but also the private for-profit sector. The types of relationships between socio-economic actors can be recognized as preconditions for explaining structural developments in knowledge-based economies, with a transformative impact on production modes and specifically on innovation ecosystems. With specific reference to analyses suiting the knowledge society, it is particularly interesting to consider the roles of outcome-oriented organizations as key actors for social innovation.

A relevant explanatory framework, which has gained recognition in recent years, is the triple helix model (Etzkowitz & Leydesdorff, 2000). This approach was originally employed in analyzing the existing dynamics between key actors (government, businesses, and universities) in fostering innovation and knowledge transfer. The model is rising to be a key reference also for social innovation processes.

In this chapter, we enquire to what extent the triple helix approach to social innovation is diffused in the Italian context, and whether this affects the financial sustainability, collaborative orientation, accountability and readiness for innovation of Italian NPOs. To pursue these research objectives, we employ recent data produced by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) – specifically, the Nationwide Census of Industry and Services carried out in 2011 and published in July 2013. We intersect this secondary data with a nationwide survey of Italian NPOs conducted in 2013, specifically designed in order to gain deeper understanding of the revenue structures, organizational characteristics and features of collaborative relationships of such organizations – that is, highly contingent aspects at the meso- and micro-level which the ISTAT census does not cover.

Our results highlight significant differences in the behavior and outcomes for those NPOs who adopt a systemic collaboration approach with other actors in the socio-economic system. Based on this exploratory evidence, we propose reflections and indications for future research in the discussion section.


The scope of the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) in providing public services as well as the models and formats of implementing State–CSO partnerships have varied both in sectorial terms and from a historical perspective. The discussion on State–CSO partnerships in service delivery has recently produced many studies, especially related to public management reform agenda, although many ideas based on public governance have appeared in recent years within the Brazilian context. This study features a historical analysis of the State–CSO partnerships in three different areas: AIDS, social assistance, and culture, and seeks to identify the main characteristics of each management model (bureaucratic, managerial, and new public governance), based on an analysis of sectorial norms produced by the federal government to regulate these relationships.


Infrastructure projects lend themselves quite naturally to the domain of collaborative networks, because they are not feasible without the coordinated efforts of several independent and heterogeneous actors. This chapter analyzes the nature and role of multilateral collaboration in the early stages of local infrastructure projects.

After having developed a conceptual model of collaborative approaches to early project stages, a survey was designed and targeted at experienced and informed managers of utilities that develop infrastructural facilities in Italy.

The empirical analysis reveals that collaboration with local governments and other stakeholders is sought by managers mainly to acquire knowledge about project options and feasibility, and to improve public acceptance.


The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the evolution in the provision of public services’ delivery, with a specific focus on housing policies. New practices are being implemented, thanks to the cooperation of the public sector, private, and nonprofit actors. Rather than just providing assistance to households with income levels falling below specific thresholds, social housing addresses the broader and more complex areas of vulnerability that affect several categories, such as single parents, young students and professionals, and temporarily unemployed people. Co-production also comes into the picture, since many social housing projects require that beneficiaries contribute to the implementation of the project itself, for example by managing the buildings and common areas or by creating communities.

The chapter will start from considerations on the emergence of new housing needs. It will then review the literature on the concept of co-production of public services and provide a definition of social housing. Then, examples of social housing will be analyzed based on specific criteria derived from the literature and the theoretical framework. The methodology is qualitative and based on descriptive case analysis.

The chapter analyzes the evolution of public housing policies by taking into account the social and economic changes that have determined greater and more complex areas for public intervention, adopting a twofold approach of partnership and collaboration between the three sectors, and of co-production of public services by directly engaging the users.


This study explores policies of collaborative governance between public and private actors through a specific case that sees the development of city areas previously abandoned or landlocked. It employs the case study methodology, analyzing the specific case of San Vincenzo’s Pier in the port city of Naples. The analyzed case reveals that a collaborative public–private approach might overcome typical bureaucratic-public hurdles to the development of cities, especially their abandoned areas.

Cases of public–private collaboration have strongly increased in the last decade in order to overcome classic public failure and to develop a more participated form of governance; therefore, the research question is aimed to understand which are the possible policies to put in action for an effective collaborative governance among public and private actors. It offers practical implications for public managers by demonstrating that the development of policy networks, comprising both public and private actors, is necessary for developing new ideas and for overcoming typical limits of both private and public administrations.


This work aims at investigating how different governments, and political contexts, perform public service organisations as hybrid organisations in the case of health social assistance care services. Run using qualitative methods (interviews and direct observation), it presents a descriptive comparative study upon five local PSOs, from five European countries, engaged in delivering services for people with autism. Analysing their developmental paths in the light of neo-institutional theories, the study points out that the trigger for the development of hybrid organisations lies in the users and governments have the crucial role of being the enabler of the process, within an evolving complex relationship between public sector and third sector, as well as society at large.

Cover of Cross-Sectoral Relations in the Delivery of Public Services
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Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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