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Mixing State, Market And Network Governance Modes: The Role Of Government In "Crowded" Policy Domains

Keast, Robyn L., Mandell, Mryna, & Brown, Kerry A. (2006) Mixing State, Market And Network Governance Modes: The Role Of Government In "Crowded" Policy Domains. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, 9(1), pp. 27-50.

Abstract

The state and the market have long been recognized as the key modes of social organization underpinning democratic society. However, the failure of these governance modes to solve complex public problems meant that new ways of working had to be devised. As a result, networks and the network governance mode have come to the fore. While inextricably inter-related, each of these three modes is underpinned by differing operating frameworks which are grounded in contrasting rule systems, moral orders and rationales and each requires different actors, institutional arrangements and strategies. As a result of adopting and utilizing these differing approaches, the current policy arena is comprised of aspects of all three governance modes. However, not only do these modes stand alone, they often appear in cross-cutting, hybrid governance forms. This situation leads to governance complexity and what is contended to be a "crowded" policy domain in which differing governance arrangements, policy prescriptions, participants and processes bump up against and even compete with each other to cause overlap and confusion and, potentially erode the potential for positive service delivery and programme outcomes. This paper argues therefore that policy and decision-makers need to recognise the difference between these modes, select optimal mixes and their associated components in order to create the space necessary for more meaningful dialogue and interaction to occur between the most favourable elements. It is contended that what is required is an ability to effectively isolate, select and, mix and match governance aspects of each of the three modes and thereby orchestrate the varying, and often competing, elements of these modes residing in the policy domain into harmonious collective action. The paper proceeds by tracing the evolution of the expanded mix, sets out a coherent framework to aid decision-making and explores the challenges faced by governments in balancing the structural and operational mechanisms necessary to sustain the engagement of such a diverse set of players.

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ID Code: 4832
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Networks, Governance, Public Sector
ISSN: 1093-4537
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500) > Public Administration (160509)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 PrAcademics Press
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 21 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:20

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