SEGS Research: Theory Development


  • Research in this area has a primary focus on governance network analysis applied to complex systems, with an emphasis on network learning and knowledge transfer.

  • Publications

  • Performance Management in Governance Networks: Critical Concepts and Practices.

    Koliba, C. Symposium Editor.

    2011. Public Performance Management Review. 34(4): 515-597.

  • Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy.

    Koliba, C., Meek, J. and Zia, A.

    2010. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.

    What do public administrators and policy analysts have in common? Their work is undertaken within networks formed when different organizations align to accomplish some kind of policy function. To be effective, they must find ways to navigate complexity and generate effective results. Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy describes a variety of trends and movements that have contributed to the complexity of these systems and the challenges that must be faced as a result. Providing a theoretical and empirical foundation in governance networks, the book offers a conceptual framework for describing governance networks and provides a holistic way to conceive their construction. The text details the skills and functions of public administrators in the context of networked relationships and presents the theoretical foundations to analyze governance networks. It identifies the reforms and trends in governing that led to governance networks, explains the roles that various actors take on through networked relationships, highlights the challenges involved in the failure of networked activities, and illustrates how policy tools are mobilized by these relationships. Features • Identifies the reforms and trends in governance that have given rise to the evolution of governance networks • Explains the roles and motivation that various actors take on through networked relationships • Promotes understanding of how policy tools mobilize governance networks • Describes the skills and functions of public administrators in this context of networked relationships • Presents relevant theoretical foundations to analyze governance networks
  • Complexity Theory, Networks and Systems Analysis.

    Koliba, C., Gerrts, L., Rhodes, M-L., and Meek, J.

    (accepted for publication) Torfing, J. and Ansell, C. (eds.) Governance Handbook. New York: Springer.

  • Governance Network Performance: A Complex Adaptive Systems Approach.

    Koliba, C.

    2013. In Agranoff, B., Mandell, M., and Keast, R. editors. Network Theory in the Public Sector: Building New Theoretical Frameworks. New York: Routledge Press. 84-102.

    In this chapter the author draws on a governance network analysis lens to situate network performance management as a necessary condition of network learning and knowledge transfer that takes into account network performance outcomes and processes. Contemporary theories of performance management and organizational learning are blended with complexity and network science to advance a theory of network learning that may be applied to theory development, empirical analysis and network management practice.
  • Peer Reviewed Conference Proceeding: Complex Systems Modeling in Public Administration and Policy Studies: Challenges and Opportunities for a Meta-Theoretical Research Program.

    Koliba, C., and Zia, A.

    2013. In L. Gerrits and P.K. Marks (Eds.), COMPACT I: Public Administration in Complexity. Litchfield Park, AZ: Emergent Publications.

  • Accountability in Governance Networks: Implications Drawn from Studies of Response and Recovery Efforts Following Hurricane Katrina.

    Koliba, C., Mills, R. and Zia, A.

    2011. Public Administration Review. 71(2): 210-220. [Winner: 2011 Marshall Dimock Award for Best Lead Article, PAR].

    This paper provides a conceptual framework for describing and analyzing the complex accountability challenges that exist within governance networks. Recognizing the multiscale and intersector (public, private, and nonprofit) characteristics of these networks, an accountability framework is presented that is organized around democratic (elected representatives, citizens, and the legal system), market (owners and consumers), and administrative (bureaucratic, professional and collaborative) relationships. The authors apply this accountability framework to the studies of the events of late summer/early fall of 2005 following landfall of hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast. The multiple failures of governance networks to effectively plan for, and respond to, the crisis are analyzed in terms of outright failures in democratic, market and/or administrative accountability, as well as confusion over trade-offs between accountability types that persist in emergency management situations. Specific recommendations for emergency management planners are provided.
  • Communities of Practice as an Empirical Construct: Implications for Theory and Practice.

    Koliba, C. and Gajda (Woodland), R.

    2009. International Journal of Public Administration. 32. 97-135.

    The “community of practice” (CoP) has emerged as a potentially powerful unit of analysis linking the individual and the collective because it situates the role of learning, knowledge transfer, and participation among people as the central enterprise of collective action. The authors’ surface tensions and highlight unanswered questions regarding CoP theory, concluding that it relies on a largely normative and under- operationalized set of premises. Avenues for theory development and the empirical testing of assertions are provided.
  • Serving the Public Interest Across Sectors: Assessing the Implications of Network Governance.

    Koliba, C.

    2006. Administrative Theory & Praxis. 28(4): 593-601.

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