Boundary Spanners in Public Management and Governance


Boundary Spanners in Public Management and Governance

An Interdisciplinary Assessment

9781786434166 Edward Elgar Publishing
Ingmar van Meerkerk, Assistant Professor and Jurian Edelenbos, Professor of Interactive Governance, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Publication Date: 2018 ISBN: 978 1 78643 416 6 Extent: 224 pp
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.

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Critical Acclaim
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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.
Critical Acclaim
‘Because collaboration in public management and governance is likely on the rise more broadly (as planners and managers are increasingly faced with complex, interdisciplinary problems), van Meerkerk and Edelenbos’s book is an important and timely contribution. . . . The authors have organized the book in such a way that it will be of interest to a variety of audiences, including those looking to learn about boundary spanning, those interested in scholarly endeavours on the topic, and those individuals who may wish to employ effective boundary spanning activities.’
– Kimberly J. Coleman, Australian Journal of Public Administration (AJPA)

‘The forte of the book is in its substantial coverage of the literature on boundary spanning that has come before it. In considering the various aspects of a broad array of works, the authors have fused and mended main supportive concepts that help us to better understand boundary spanning as a coherent area of study and to chart a way forward for future research. . . . this book is easily
recommended as a primary review of boundary spanning
in the public space.’
– Christopher L. Atkinson, International Journal of Public Administration

‘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

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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eISBN: 978 1 78643 417 3
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