From high-reliability organizations to high-reliability networks: The dynamics of network governance in the face of emergency

Olivier Berthod, Michael Grothe-Hammer, Gordon Müller-Seitz, J. Raab, J. Sydow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research has reported at length on how interorganizational networks can be effectively governed in public service delivery. In contrast, the way such networks specifically organize for reliability is strikingly absent from the literature. We substantiate the idea of High-Reliability Networks (or HRNs) by drawing from the literature on network governance and exploring networked emergency management in a large German city. Herein, we analyze an unprecedented dataset on a network’s development, covering two years of interviews and direct observations. The article offers three contributions:
first, we theorize “high reliability” at the network level and thereby extend the discussion on the governance and effectiveness of interorganizational networks. Second, we show that network governance in HRNs is of a hybrid nature and oscillates between assertive and supportive modes of governance, thereby contributing to a dynamic perspective on the governance of networks. Third, the article demonstrates how HRNs develop a capacity to prepare better for the unexpected by managing latent ties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352–371
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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