Interorganizational Networks in the Public Sector
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[German title: Unternehmensübergreifende Netzwerke im öffentlichen Sektor]

Expectations and Perceptions of Benefits, Barriers, and Success in Public Sector Knowledge Networks  
Jing Zhang, Sharon S. Dawes
Public Performance & Management Review 
Volume 29, Number 4 / June 2006 
Pages: 433 – 466 

Abstract: As public programs become more complex and interdependent, their effectiveness increasingly relies on interorganizational networks in which knowledge and information are the main currencies of interaction. This paper reports the results of a study of seven knowledge-networking projects in New York State government. Each project was followed for 3 years as a case study. In addition, the participants took part in two surveys that gathered expectations at the beginning of the study and perceptions of actual experience near the end. The surveys focus on the benefits, barriers, and extent of success associated with knowledge and information sharing. The results show that prior expectations changed as a result of experience. After engaging in the projects for more than 2 years, participants perceived that achieved benefits of knowledge networking were not as great as they expected and the barriers were not as formidable. In addition, the survey shows that organizational and individual networking successes are separable from project success. Perceived technological barriers appear to limit individual networking success. Perceived policy and legal barriers appear to constrain the achievement of substantive project goals. Expected and perceived organizational barriers were negatively associated with all three kinds of success.

Keywords: information sharing, interorganizational networks, interorganizational relations, knowledge networks, knowledge sharing

Read the article online.

© 2006 M. E. Sharpe


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