Combining structure, governance, and context : a configurational approach to network effectiveness
Faculty of Applied Economics
New Brunswick, N.J.
Journal of public administration research and theory. - New Brunswick, N.J., 1991, currens
, p. 479-511
University of Antwerp
This study explores the way in which network structure (network integration), network context (resource munificence and stability), and network governance mode relate to network effectiveness. The model by Provan and Milward (Provan, Keith G., and H. Brinton Milward. 1995. A preliminary theory of interorganizational network effectiveness: A comparative study of four community mental health systems. Administrative Science Quarterly 40 (1): 1-33) on the effectiveness of designed and goal-directed interorganizational networks is extended and tested on the basis of 39 crime prevention networks (Safety Houses) in the Netherlands. Ten cases were subjected to in-depth analysis through documentation reviews, interviews, observations, and a survey among network participants. In the other 29 cases semistructured interviews were conducted with the network managers. The data for all 39 cases were analyzed with crisp-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The results revealed two different configurations for network effectiveness. Effective networks are centrally integrated networks that have been in existence for at least 3 years (age) and which show a high degree of stability. In addition, they either have considerable resources at their disposal or they have been set up with a network administrative organization. The results confirm core insights from Provan and Milward's earlier study but also show that administrative resources can serve as a substitute for financial resources (and vice versa). The article concludes with suggestions for the further development of a configurational theory of network effectiveness.