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Boundary Spanners in Public Management and Governance

An Interdisciplinary Assessment Ingmar van Meerkerk, Assistant Professor and Jurian Edelenbos, Professor of Interactive Governance, Department of Public Administration & Sociology, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Boundary spanning behavior is important for both public, non-profit and private organizations to ‘survive’: to stay relevant in relation to the environment, to innovate, to improve performance and to collaborate in an effective manner, especially in multi-organizational settings. Providing an assessment of factors influencing the work and effectiveness of boundary spanners, and discussing the impact of boundary spanners on different types of outcomes (collaboration, trust, organizational innovation), this book offers a coherent overview of the evolution of boundary spanning in an interactive governance context.
Extent: 224 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78643 416 6
Availability: In Stock
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
  • Regulation and Governance
Cross-boundary workers are significant for public, non-profit and private organizations, particularly to stay relevant and enhance collaboration, innovation and performance. This book presents an interdisciplinary and systematic review on the state of the art on boundary spanners, a feature of public management and governance that needs more comprehensive and integrative understanding.

The authors analyse different theoretical perspectives on cross-boundary roles in the public sector. Chapters discuss key drivers and influential conditions, various types of boundary spanning activities and boundary spanners’ profiles, as well as their impact on job outcomes, collaboration, trust and organizational innovation. Using empirical illustrations and building on a broad range of literature, this book is a vital step in understanding inter-organizational performance and collaborative public management. It synthesizes knowledge from different disciplines and evaluates individual, organizational and environmental factors, the challenges facing collaborative projects and how to successfully facilitate cross-boundary work in the public sector.

Scholars and researchers in the field of public management will benefit from the integrated research framework provided in this innovative book. Management and public policy students who want to understand boundary spanners and inter-organizational collaboration will find this an excellent and much-needed overview of the topic.
‘This impressive, well-structured and readable book will appeal to both academic and policy/practitioner communities. It focuses on the role, behaviours and impact of a highly influential cadre of actors operating in theatres of collaboration – the boundary spanners. It situates them in the fields of public management and governance combining both inter-disciplinary theoretical rigour with empirical insights from policy and practice.’
– Paul Williams, Australian National University

‘Individuals and organizations working in liminal spaces – “boundary spanners” – have often been speculated as occupying key, but often hidden, roles in public management and governance. While some work has been done on figures such as entrepreneurs and brokers, boundary-spanning and boundary spanners have heretofore not received detailed book length treatment. This volume undertakes this task, advancing our knowledge of these actors and their activities, both as they have operated historically and in their enhanced contemporary role in recent efforts to promote co-production and other kinds of collaborative governance arrangements.’
– Michael Howlett, Simon Fraser University, Canada and National University of Singapore
Contents: Preface 1. Towards a more comprehensive understanding of boundary spanners in the context of public management and governance 2. Boundaries and drivers for boundary spanning in public management and governance 3. Theoretical origins and perspectives on boundary spanning 4. Detecting boundary spanners and examining their activities 5. Profiling boundary spanners 6. Antecedents of boundary spanning behaviour 7. Impact of boundary spanning 8. Looking back and moving forward in the field of boundary spanning Index