Regional networks have become popular routes for central governments to translate national ambitions into regional policies and actions; but these networks face challenges, having to balance between the dual objectives of obtaining short-term goals and establishing enduring network relations. This empirical article addresses the question as to whether there is any tension between these objectives, and if so, how can it be explained and managed. We report two studies on regional networks in the public-policy areas of Education and Employment in the Netherlands. Multiple methods were used: Interviews, surveys, archival records, social network data, and participatory observations. The findings suggest that this tension exists, and that it is especially found in young networks; more mature networks demonstrate better balance between network relations and goal attainment. Network governance was found to be a key explanatory factor whereby a network which had an administrative organization with a merely facilitative role, performed best in both respects.
|Journal||Journal of public administration research and theory|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2017|