Co-management to solve homelessness : wicked solutions to wicked problems

Brown, Kerry A., Keast, Robyn L., Waterhouse, Jennifer M., Murphy, Glen D., & Mandell, Myrna (2012) Co-management to solve homelessness : wicked solutions to wicked problems. In Pestoff, Victor, Brandsen, Taco, & Verschuere, Bram (Eds.) New Public Governance, the Third Sector, and Co-Production. Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), New York, pp. 211-226.

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While governments are engaged in developing social policy responses to address wicked issues such as poverty, homelessness, drug addiction and crime, long term resolution of these issues through government policy making and state-based programmatic action has remained elusive. The use of vehicles for joint action and partnership between government and the community sector such as co-management has been offered as a way of harnessing productive capability and innovative capacity of both these sectors to resolve these complex problems. However, it is suggested that while there is a well advanced agenda with the intent for collaboration and partnership, working with the models for undertaking this joint action are not well understood and have not been fully developed or evaluated.

This chapter examines new approaches to resolving the wicked issue of homelessness through applying the lens of co-management to understand the complexities of this issue and its resolution. The chapter analyses an attempt to move away from traditional bureaucratic structures of welfare departments, operating through single functional ‘silos’ to a new horizontal ‘hub-based’ model of service delivery that seeks to integrate actors across many different service areas and organizations. The chapter explores case studies of co-management in the establishment, development and operation of service hubs to address homelessness.

We argue that the response to homelessness needs a ‘wicked solution’ that goes beyond simply providing shelter to those in need. The case of the hub models of community sector organizations working across organizational boundaries is evaluated to determine whether this approach can be considered successful co-managing of an innovative initiative, and understanding the requirements for developing, improving and extending this model. The role of the third sector in co-managing public services is examined through the in-depth case studies and the results are presented together with an assessment of how co-management can contribute to service quality and service management in public services.

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ID Code: 51061
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Co-Management, Homelessness, Public Policy
ISBN: 9780415897136
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION (160500)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)
Deposited On: 26 Jun 2012 23:45
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2016 14:17

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