Exploring Public Value in Cross-Sector Collaborations
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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This research study applies Page et al’s (2015) three-dimensional framework to better understand collaboration and public value in the public sector, and to expand our understanding of public value creation in cross-sector collaborations. This study applies the only existing cross-sector collaboration framework (Page et al, 2015) of its kind to a cross-sector collaboration with different characteristics than those identified in the original study. The questions that guided this research centered on whether public value was created by the Alabama Homeland Security Task Force during its tenure from 2003 to 2012. To answer this question, the three dimensions of Page et al’s (2015) framework: democratic accountability, procedural legitimacy, and substantive outcomes, were assessed. The assessment was completed utilizing a two-part qualitative study. First, the researcher conducted a document analysis to create a detailed project history of the task force from 2003-2012, and to capture the dynamics and structure of the task force. Second, semi-structured interviews were executed with 20 stakeholders that served on the task force between 2003 and 2012. The interview questions centered on the three-dimensional framework and the public value attributes that make up each dimension. Using Page et al’s (2015) three-dimensional framework, this study finds the Alabama Homeland Security Task Force was not successful in the creation of public value. The data analysis shows the task force was restricted in its ability to create public value because it was a mandated cross-sector collaboration. This suggests the need for future research which compares the implications of mandated collaborations and voluntary collaborations. Further exploration of the differences between mandated and voluntary collaborations should explore how to reduce the iii negative effects of mandated collaborations on the creation of public value. Page et al’s (2015) three-dimensional framework failed in its ability to assess public value creation in different and changing organizational cultures and socio-political conditions. Since cross-sector collaborations are dynamic in nature, more work is needed in this area to better assess public value creation.