• Home
  • Research
  • Collaboration

Collaboration Research

Collaboration: A Public Sector Imperative

The School of Public Affairs and Administration has identified collaboration as a key component to the success of public organizations and their ability to address public sector problems and issues. Public administration has shifted to a broader view of addressing public sector issues through the development of collaborative approaches across a number of governmental, quasi-governmental, non-profit, and private-sector organizations. The School focuses on research to enhance collaborations between public sector organizations and their partners.

Partnerships

In 2011, CH2M HILL and the School of Public Affairs and Administration established a partnership to focus on three areas of collaboration. Find out more about the partnership with CH2M HILL.

Education Programs

We educate emerging local government leaders in new strategies for the delivery of services. Here are two examples of collaboration-focused presentations:

  • “Imagining Innovations of the Future,” presented at the Transforming Local Government Pre-conference in Kansas City, Missouri on April 17, 2012.
  • “Collaboration to Create Metrics for Long-term Sustainable Communities,” presented at the Transforming Local Government Pre-conference in Denver, Colorado on April 22, 2014.

Leadership Development

We develop leaders and collaborative capacity in local government organizations. One example of in-house collaboration is having the KU Public Management Center (PMC) as a department within our School. This relationship enables the faculty to have easy access to the PMC instructors and vice versa so the faculty are kept in touch with local practitioners and the PMC instructors are aware of current research.

Research

We conduct research on excellence in collaboration.

Grants

Linking Efforts to Outcomes: The Development of Weights for Local Sustainability Actions
Funded by the CH2M HILL KU Partnership on Collaboration ($18,000)
Co-Principal Investigators: Rachel M. Krause (University of Kansas), Richard C. Feiock (Florida State University), and Christopher V. Hawkins (University of Central Florida).

A Longitudinal Analysis of Community Collaboration and Sustainability: Evidence from the All-America City Awards
Funded by the CH2M HILL KU Partnership on Collaboration ($7,000)
Principal Investigator: Heather Getha‐Taylor; Faculty Researcher: John C. Pierce; Doctoral Research Assistant: Jeannette Blackmar

Publications

The faculty and doctoral students of the School of Public Affairs and Administration are active researchers in collaboration. Here is a list of selective publications by research topic:

Collaboration General Views

John Nalbandian, Robert O’Neill, Jr., J. Michael Wilkes, and Amanda Kaufman. (2013). Contemporary Challenges in Local Government: Evolving Roles and Responsibilities, Structures, and Processes. Public Administration Review. 73 (4): 567-574. Contemporary challenges in local government make collaboration within and between jurisdictions and intergovernmentally an imperative not an option for effective governance.

Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham, editors. (2009). The Collaborative Public Manager. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham, editors. (2007). Special issue of International Public Management Journal on “Collaborative Public Management,” vol. 10, no 1, pp. 1-111. This special issue brings together some of the great scholars of public administration today and showcases their research on collaboration from an international perspective.

Rosemary O’Leary, Catherine Gerard, and Lisa Blomgren Bingham, editors. (2006). Special issue of Public Administration Review on “Collaborative Public Management,” vol. 66, no. 6 s-1, pp.1-170. This special issue brings together some of the great scholars of U.S. public administration today and showcases their research on collaboration. 33% of PAR articles cited from 2006-2009 came from this special issue.

George E. Mitchell, Rosemary O’Leary, and Catherine Gerard. (2015). Collaboration and Performance: Perspectives from Public Managers and NGO Leaders. Public Performance Management Review. This article analyzes collaboration as a management and leadership strategy by members of the US Senior Executive Service, US local government managers, and international NGO executives.

Lisa Blomgren Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary, editors. (2008) Big Ideas in Collaborative Public Management. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Rosemary O’Leary. (2014). Jim Perry and Rob Christianson, editors. Becoming an Effective Collaborator. The Handbook of Public Administration, 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. This chapter brings together insights from the literature on how to be an effective collaborator.

Rosemary O’Leary (2014). Managing Across Local Government Boundaries. American Review of Public Administration, vol. 44, no. 4S, pp. 112S – 115S. This article summarizes the special issue of ARPA on Local Government Management, co-edited by George Frederickson and Rosemary O’Leary, with a special emphasis on an ICMA study on collaboration at the local government level.

Rosemary O’Leary, Yujin Choi, and Catherine Gerard. (2012). The Skill Set of the Successful Collaborator. Public Administration Review, vol. 72, issue S1, pp. 70-83. Using a data set constructed by the authors, this article analyzes what members of the US Senior Executive Service think is the skillset of the best collaborators.

Rosemary O’Leary and Nidhi Vij. (2012). Collaborative Public Management: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going? American Review of Public Administration, vol. 42, pp. 507-522. This article summarizes and analyzes the most compelling ideas in collaborative public management today.

Rosemary O’Leary and Catherine Gerard. (2011). Collaborative Public Management: Cases and Simulations. Public Management Research (Chinese Journal), vol. 9,  pp. 29-35. This article discusses the use of cases to teach collaboration.

Lisa Blomgren Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary. (2006). Parallel Play, not Collaboration: Missing Questions, Missing Connections. Public Administration Review, vol. 66, no. 6 s-1, pp. 161-167.  This article summarizes and analyzes all of the articles in the special issue of PAR on collaboration, especially noting the different findings in different literatures and disciplines that are not being cited (but should be).

Citizen Engagement and Collaboration

Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Rosemary O’Leary, and Tina Nabatchi. (2005). The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government. Public Administration Review, vol. 65, no. 5, pp. 547-558. This article discusses changes in public law and public policy needed to catalyze collaboration with the public. It was the most cited Public Administration Review article in 2005, 2006, and 2007. In 2014 it was selected as one of the 75 most influential articles appearing in Public Administration Review since its inception in 1940.

Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Rosemary O’Leary, and Tina Nabatchi. (2005). Legal Frameworks for the New Governance: Processes for Citizen Participation in the Work of Government. National Civic Review, vol. 94, no. 1, pp. 16-24. This article presents ideas for revolutionizing public law to accommodate and catalyze collaboration.

Collaborative Competencies and Skills

Heather Getha-Taylor and Ricardo Morse (2013). Collaborative Leadership Development for Local Government Officials: Exploring Competencies and Program Impact. Public Administration Quarterly. 37(1); 72-102. Local government leadership program content should specifically address collaboration competency development and the training evaluation strategy should allow for processing and reflection: immediate reaction surveys should be supplemented with a long-term evaluation strategy.
Available at: http://www.spaef.com/articleArchives.php?journal=PAQ

Rosemary O’Leary and Catherine Gerard. (2013). Collaborative Governance and Leadership: A 2012 Survey of Local Government Collaboration.” 2013 The ICMA Municipal Year Book. Washington, D. C.: International City and County Management Association.

Rosemary O'Leary, Yujin Choi, and Catherine Gerard. (2012). The skill set of the successful collaborator. Public Administration Review 72 (1); 70-83. Using federal employees of the Senior Executive Service, the researchers found that in relation to collaborative skill sets federal executives most frequently mentioned individual attributes and interpersonal skills as essential for successful collaboration, followed by group process skills, strategic leadership skills, and substantive/technical expertise.
Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2012.02667.x/abstract

Heather Getha-Taylor (2008). Identifying Collaborative Competencies. Review of Public Personnel Administration. 28(2); 103-119. Using federal employees as the sample, this article identifies three competencies that differentiate exemplary collaborators:  interpersonal understanding, teamwork and cooperation, and team leadership.
Available at: http://rop.sagepub.com/content/28/2.toc

Conflict and Collaboration

Kirk Emerson, Rosemary O’Leary, and Lisa B. Bingham. (Fall-Winter 2004). Commentary: Comment on Frank Dukes’s `What We Know About Environmental Conflict Resolution.’ Conflict Resolution Quarterly. Vol. 22, no. 1-2, pp. 221-232. This article highlights big questions and major challenges of collaboration to resolve environmental conflicts.

Rosemary O’Leary, Tina Nabatchi, and Lisa Bingham. (Spring 2004). Environmental Conflict Resolution. Environmental Governance Reconsidered: Challenges, Choices, and Opportunities; 323-354. Cambridge: MIT Press, 451 pp. This chapter presents an overview of the major types of collaboration that can be used to address environmental conflicts.

Kirk Emerson, Tina Nabatchi, Rosemary O’Leary, and John Stephens. (2003). The Challenges of Environmental Conflict Resolution. The Promise and Performance of Environmental Conflict Resolution; 3-26. Washington D.C.: Resources for the Future Press. This chapter presents an overview of the major types of collaboration that can be used to address environmental conflicts.

Lisa B. Bingham, David Fairman, Daniel J. Fiorino, and Rosemary O’Leary. (2003). Fulfilling the Promise of Environmental Conflict Resolution. The Promise and Performance of Environmental Conflict Resolution; 329-352. Washington D.C.: Resources for the Future Press. This book chapter summarizes the best of what was known at the time in the area of environmental collaboration.

Rosemary O’Leary and Susan Raines. (2003). Dispute Resolution at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Promise and Performance of Environmental Conflict Resolution; 253-275. Washington D.C.: Resources for the Future Press. This book chapter assesses the challenges of environmental collaboration to solve environmental disputes.

Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham. (2007). Managing Conflict in Networks. International Public Management Journal; Vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 103-111. This article highlights big questions concerning how to manage conflicts in networks.

Rosemary O’Leary, Tina Nabatchi, and Lisa Bingham. (Summer 2005). Assessing and Improving Conflict Resolution in Multiparty Environmental Negotiations. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior; Vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 181-209. This article presents an overview of the major types of collaboration that can be used to address environmental conflicts.

The Environment and Collaboration

Mark T. Imperial, Sonia Ospina, Erik Johnston, Rosemary O’Leary, Jennifer Thomsen, Peter Williams, and Shawn Johnson. (2015). Understanding Leadership in a World of Shared Problems: Advancing Network Governance in Large Landscape Conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. This “big ideas” article highlights the importance of collaboration of bio-physical scientists.

Robert Alexander and Rosemary O’Leary. (2009). Collaborative Approaches to Public Organization Start-Ups. The Collaborative Public Manager, pp 197-214..  Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. This book chapter presents a study done by Alexander and O’Leary of the growth of the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and its focus on collaboration.

Rosemary O’Leary and Carla Pizzarella. (2008). (Not) Measuring the Performance of Environmental Conflict Resolution:  Lessons from U.S. State Programs. International Review of Public Administration, vol. 13, no 1, pp. 11-26. O’Leary and Pizzarella present the findings of their research based on a survey of state programs on environmental collaboration and conflict resolution. They find that most of these agencies or programs to not measure the results of their efforts.

Informal Accountability and Collaboration

From Contracting to Collaboration: Forming Partnerships for Multiple Services
Barbara Romzek and Marilu Goodyear. Presented at the Imagining Innovations of the Future Pre-conference at the Transforming Local Government Conference in Kansas City, Missouri on April 17, 2012. Using the City of Centennial, Colorado the researchers found that evidence of informal accountability mechanisms in the relationship between the city and its contractor partners.

Jurisdiction and Collaboration

H. George Frederickson. (2000) The Repositioning of American Public Administration. P.S. Political Science. 60 (1): 701-711. This article sets out a theory of “organizational conciliation” to account for increasing levels of interjurisdictional coordination and cooperation.

H. George Frederickson. (2005) Transcending the City: Local Government Leadership in a World of Shared Power. Public Management (PM), 8-15. Public administration is changed to the management of linked jurisdictions and extended chains or networks of third party service providers. Jurisdictional authority is being replaced by the direction of interpersonal and intergovernmental processes. Information is replacing authority as the centerpiece of public administration.

Leadership and Collaboration

Heather Getha-Taylor, Chris Silvia, and Scott Simmerman (2014). Individuality and Integration: Observing Leadership Styles in Team Collaboration. The Public Manager. Using simulation techniques, the research found that in collaborative settings there is a "me versus we" tension where challengers prioritized integration with the group, and in doing so, they diluted their individual strengths. Individuality is seen as necessary for cooperation, and what may be seen as a paradox, is actually a set of complements.
Available at: http://www.astd.org/Publications/Magazines/The-Public-Manager/Archives/2014/Summer/Individuality-Integration-Leadership-Styles-in-Team-Collaboration?mktcops=c.govt%7ec.human-capital%7ec.sr-leader%7ec.mgmt&mktcois=c.leadership-development%7ec.management-development%7ec.engagement

Rosemary O’Leary and Catherine Gerard. (2012). Collaboration Across Boundaries: Insights and Tips from Federal Senior Executives. IBM Center for the Business of Government, 50 pp. This IBM monograph shares insights and tips from 341 U.S. federal managers who use collaboration as a management and leadership strategy.

Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham. (2007). A Manager’s Guide to Resolving Conflicts in Collaborative Networks. IBM Center for the Business of Government, 50 pp. This IBM monograph applies principles of interest-based negotiation and collaborative problem solving with the goal of providing guidelines to practitioners concerning how to resolve conflicts that arise while collaborating.

Rosemary O’Leary. Mary Ellen Guy and Marilyn Rubin, editors. From Silos to Networks, Chapter 5. 75 Years of Trends in Public Administration. This chapter traces the history and changes in thought among public managers concerning collaboration as a management and leadership strategy.

Rosemary O’Leary and Catherine Gerard. (2014). Collaboration as A management and Leadership Strategy for Local Governments: Fad or Future? Government Finance Review, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 30-39. This article presents the findings of the O’Leary and Gerard ICMA study on collaboration at the local government level.

Rosemary O’Leary, Lisa Blomgren Bingham, and Yujin Choi. (2012). Teaching Collaborative Leadership: Ideas and Lessons for the Field. Journal of Public Administration Education, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 565-592. This article analyzes the “Maxwell School Experiment”, led by Rosemary O’Leary, to teach collaborative problem solving to all graduating MPA students.

Local Government and Collaboration

Rosemary O’Leary and Catherine Gerard. The International City/County Management Association, editor. (2013). Collaborative Governance and Leadership: A 2012 Survey of Local Government Collaboration. Chapter 6, pp. 43-56. The Municipal Yearbook. Washington D.C.: ICMA.  This book chapter presents the findings of the O’Leary and Gerard study of collaboration at the local government level in the United States.

Motivation and Collaboration Attitudes

Heather Getha-Taylor and Alexa Haddock-Bigwarfe. (2014). Public Service Motivation and Willingness to Collaborate: An Examination in the Context of Homeland Security. Evidence-Based Human Resource Management. 2(1); 80-95. Using a sample of state homeland security actors, the research found strong positive relationships between public service motivation measures and attitudes toward collaboration at the individual and organizational level.
Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/toc/ebhrm/2/1

Organizational Learning and Collaboration

Heather Getha-Taylor. (2008). Learning Indicators and Collaborative Capacity: Applying Action Learning Principles to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Public Administration Quarterly. 32(2); 125-146. This article explores the connection between organizational learning and collaborative capacity and finds that employees in the Department of Homeland Security lag behind their counterparts on one key measure of organizational learning: the ability to assess performance gaps.
Available at: http://www.spaef.com/article/17/Learning-Indicators-And-Collaborative-Capacity:-Applying-Action-Learning-Principles-to-the-U.S.-Department-of-Homeland-Security-

Performance and Collaboration

Stuart Bretschneider, Yujin Choi, Tina Nabatchi, and Rosemary O’Leary. John Bryson and Barbara Crosby, editors. Incentivizing Collaboration: An Experimental Analysis of Performance Information, Public Value Creation, and Public Values Promotion. Integrative Management. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. This book chapter shares insights from experiments concerning how practitioners use performance information to decide whether to collaborate or not.

Public Management and Collaboration

Rosemary O’Leary, Beth Gazley, Michael McGuire, and Lisa Blomgren Bingham. (2009). Public Managers in Collaboration. The Collaborative Public Manager, pp. 1-12. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. This book chapter provides an overview of the literature on collaborative public management.

Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham. (2009). Surprising Finds, Lessons Learned, and Future Directions for Collaborative Public Management Research. The Collaborative Public Manager, pp. 255 - 269. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. This book chapter presents a cross-cutting analysis of all the chapters in this book with an emphasis on the “surprising finds” concerning collaboration.

Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Rosemary O’Leary and Christine Carlson. Lisa Blomgren Bingham and Rosemary O’Leary, editors. (2008). Frameshifting: Lateral Thinking for Collaborative Public Management. Big Ideas in Collaborative Public Management, pp. 3 – 16. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. This is the introductory chapter of the Bingham and O’Leary book, setting the stage for the “big ideas” on collaboration that are presented by over a dozen authors.

Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Jodi Sandfort, and Rosemary O’Leary. (2008). Learning to Do and Doing to Learn: Teaching Managers to Collaborate in Networks. Big Ideas in Collaborative Public Management, pp. 270 – 295. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. This chapter presents the authors’ experiences and discoveries as they pioneer the teaching of collaboration in schools of public policy and public affairs.

Rosemary O’Leary, Catherine Gerard, and Lisa Bingham. (2006). Introduction to Special Issue on Collaborative Public Management. Public Administration Review, vol. 66, no. 6 s-1, pp. 6-9. This article sets the stage for the special issue of PAR on collaboration and especially notes the importance of the issue to public administrators.

Rosemary O’Leary and Lisa Blomgren Bingham. (2007). Collaborative Public Management. International Public Management Journal, vol. 10, no 1 pp. 1-10. This article highlights big questions in the area of collaborative public management.

Public-Private Partnerships

Listen to a 2012 podcast that summarizes some of this research on the American City and County website: http://americancityandcounty.com/privatization-amp-outsourcing/create-successful-ppps


SPAA Events & Deadlines
PMC Events, Classes & Deadlines
Ranked in the top 10 master of public affairs programs in the nation
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 in the nation for city management and urban policy

— U.S. News & World Report


#5 in the nation for public management

— U.S. News & World Report
Three faculty have won W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence
Rosemary O’Leary is KU’s Edwin O. Stene Distinguished Professor of Public Administration
Four MPA graduates have been elected president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Founder of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (JPART)
Four faculty are National Academy of Public Administration Fellows
Bob Kipp, vice president of Hallmark Cards, was a 2012 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. secretary of health and human services, was a 2009 recipient of the CLAS Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
KU Today
Connect with Us

Twitter Facebook

 
 
Stay Connected

Subscribe to our email list

* indicates required
Email Format

View previous campaigns.