Doctoral thesis

Do public networks really work? : An essay on public network performance and its determinants


169 p

Thèse de doctorat: Università della Svizzera italiana, 2013

English Since the early Nineties, public networks have been placed centre stage to solve “wicked” problems and are considered the multi-organizational arrangement ‘par excellence’ to achieve solutions that are difficult to obtain by individual organizations. Despite this euphoria on networks as the best solution, in 1997 O’Toole’s call to “treat networks seriously” implied understanding how they perform, how to measure their performance and what affects their results. Firstly, this dissertation aims to review the different concepts and measures of network performance and proposes a reliable measure following a multidimensional approach. Secondly, it deals with the in-depth study of the relationships among the four main determinants of network effectiveness: contextual characteristics, structural characteristics, functioning characteristics and network manager. Results confirm that public networks can improve their ability to survive in the long term and achieve their goals through a combination of proper structural, managerial and functioning characteristics.
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