Combining structure, governance and context: A configurational approach to network effectiveness

J. Raab, R.S. Mannak, B. Cambré

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the way in which network structure (network integration), network context (resource munificence and stability), and network governance mode relate to net -work effectiveness. The model by Provan and Milward (Provan, Keith G., and H. Brinton Milward. 1995. A preliminary theory of interorganizational network effectiveness: A comparative study of four community mental health systems. Administrative Science Quarterly 40
(1):1–33) on the effectiveness of designed and goal-directed interorganizational networks is extended and tested on the basis of 39 crime prevention networks (Safety Houses) in the Netherlands. Ten cases were subjected to in-depth analysis through documentation reviews, interviews, observations, and a survey among network participants. In the other 29 cases semistructured interviews were conducted with the network managers. The data for all 39 cases were analyzed with crisp-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis. The results
revealed two different configurations for network effectiveness. Effective networks are centrally integrated networks that have been in existence for at least 3 years (age) and which show a high degree of stability. In addition, they either have considerable resources at their disposal or they have been set up with a network administrative organization. The results confirm core insights from Provan and Milward’s earlier study but also show that administrative resources can serve as a substitute for financial resources (and vice versa). The
article concludes with suggestions for the further development of a configurational theory of network effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-511
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Combining structure, governance and context: A configurational approach to network effectiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this