The Functions of the Network Executive: A Case Study of Network Management, Leadership and Governance
AdvisorProvan, Keith G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation is an examination of goal-directed network management, leadership, and governance through the lens of a framework based on the work of Chester Barnard (1938). I approach network management, leadership, and governance through the three Barnardian executive functions: providing a system of communication, securing essential effort, and formulating and providing purpose. These three functions are examined through the empirical examination of the case of the Southern Alberta Child and Youth Health Network (SACYHN). Drawing on both descriptive, qualitative data, as well as quantitative and structural network data, I examine which network actors were undertaking the Barnardian functions in the case of SACYHN and whether network leadership made a difference in overcoming challenges to cooperative action. Data were collected on SACYHN and its approximately 50 member organizations through an organizational questionnaire and elite interviews. Multiple methods were used for analyzing the data, including standard network analysis, qualitative analysis, Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), and Multiple Regression Quadratic Assignment Procedure (MRQAP).By examining goal-directed inter-organizational network management, leadership, and governance through the lens of a Barnardian framework, I found that the essential functions necessary for effective network function are providing a communication system, securing essential effort, and formulating and defining purpose. I also contribute to the theory development around network functioning by proposing the role of network management, leadership, and governance in upholding the communication system, bolstering the securing of effort, and championing purpose. Second, by focusing on the fundamental functions of each, I then propose why and when management, leadership, and governance are important to effective network functioning and the theoretical and practical implications for relationship building in formal, goal directed inter-organizational networks.
Degree ProgramGraduate College