Collaboration Among Federal Managers: Administrative Conjunction In Faith Based And Community Initiatives
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The role of government is less clear than ever in an increasingly complex world. As a result, working in government has also become more challenging. In this information driven society, government workers are asked to solve a variety of complicated problems using collaboration and networking skills. These skills help navigate within their own agency, across jurisdictions, or through the public policy partnerships with non- profit and private organizations. In general, the field of public administration faces the challenges of what Frederickson (H. G. Frederickson, 1999) calls a disarticulated state in which boundaries become less important and collaboration becomes the main method of work. Important informal relationships among public administrators are important. Patterns of voluntary, collaborative behavior can be identified. A key question is how public administrators relate to one another in a complex networked environment. This dissertation examines relationships between managers in public organizations and explores the impact of these relationships upon how administrators function in their public work. For this inductive case study, I will examine federal agencies involved in the Faith Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) using data from qualitative interviews and surveys. The work is presented within the context of the broader traditions of traditional intergovernmental relations and federalism, plus the more recent conceptualizations of public networks and collaboration. This study finds collaboration is present in the FBCI. The importance of center-to-center collaboration is less than predicted, but other forms of collaboration are shown to be more important.