Trust in whole networks in the public and nonprofit sector: The impact of public sector characteristics?
This article argues that networks in the public and nonprofit sector have typical characteristics that might impede the functioning of whole networks and, in particular, the development of affect-based and cognition-based trust. Such characteristics are related to safeguarding public sector values, power imbalance due to the mandatory and vertical character of the network, and effectiveness of networks in the public and nonprofit sector. Network types (i.e. network-administrative organization, lead organization, and shared governance) are suggested as potential moderators in reducing dysfunctionalities in public and nonprofit networks. In a sample of 54 networks, the effects of the assumed network dysfunctionalities on the two types of trust in the different types of networks were studied using a multilevel approach. Findings indicated that especially flexibility in the networks was important. Several characteristics of public and nonprofit networks were less problematic than expected.
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