Strategic service partnerships and boundary-spanning behaviour: a study of multiple, cascading policy windows

Baker, Keith (2008). Strategic service partnerships and boundary-spanning behaviour: a study of multiple, cascading policy windows. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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This study explores the role of boundary-spanning individuals in the development of Strategic Service Partnerships (SSPs). SSPs are the latest manifestation of Public- Private Partnerships (PPPs). However, these partnerships are remarkably underresearched. Furthermore, the role of key boundary-spanning individuals in developing and maintaining PPPs and other partnership forms is poorly understood. This study closes these gaps in the literature by examining the development of SSPs and showing how the role and contribution of boundary-spanning individuals can be understood. Boundary-spanners are shown to exist as dynamic, structurally contextualised agents whose actions are shaped by a combination of organisational and contingency pressures and their own individual psychology. To understand the development of an SSP and the role of boundary-spanners, the study develops and tests a conceptual framework. This framework combines a sequential account of emergent interorganisational relationships with a policy process model. The thesis presents case study evidence from an in depth qualitative investigation of an emergent SSP in an English Local Authority to show that interaction between public and private sector organisations is critical to development of an SSP. It is also shown that boundaryspanning individuals are of critical importance in managing and shaping these interactions. This study represents an advance in understanding both PPPs and boundary-spanning individuals.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Schools (1998 to 2008) > School of Public Policy
School or Department: Institute of Local Government Studies
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Other
Other Funders: The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, UK
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government


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