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Governance network performance: A complex adaptive systems approach

Koliba, C. (2013). Network Theory in the Public Sector , 98-116.Routledge.

If we are to assess the performance of networks within a public administration and policy context, we must regard them as tangible, observable structures comprised of nodes (or agents) and ties that formally or informally, tightly or loosely, couple two or more nodes together. The kind of “network logic” that accompanies the study of networks bears a significant impact on our understandings of network performance. Although there is still likely room for debate, a comprehensive view of this network logic for the field of public administration and policy studies is emerging around a number of givens about multi-organizational networks found within the public administration and policy studies literature. These givens, however, are punctuated by a number of compelling methodological and theoretical challenges that may be best served by understanding network performance as an integral feature of a complex adaptive system. To describe and evaluate in such a manner, a comprehensive framework for categorizing network performance is needed.