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Producing Human Services: Why Do Agencies Collaborate?

  • Laurence E. Lynn Jr.
  • Carolyn J. Hill
Registered author(s):

    Belief in the resource-saving and service-enhancing potential of inter-organizational collaboration has become virtually an article of faith among resource providers, client advocates, and service planners. Yet collaboration in practice encounters myriad difficulties, and successful collaborations are relatively rare. We focus on providers’ incentives to collaborate: assuming that there are unrealized net benefits from collaboration, why might a provider decide to reallocate effort away from independent (i.e., uncoordinated) service provision and toward collaboration? We review theories of three types: rational choice theories, socialized choice theories, and psychological/cognitive choice theories. We discuss of implications of these kinds of theories for the creation and governance of collaborations and lay the groundwork for further empirical investigation of collaboration.

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    Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 219.

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    Date of creation: 28 Mar 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:219
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637
    Phone: 773-702-0472
    Web page: http://www.jcpr.org/wp/ByDate.htmlEmail:


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    7. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-64, May.
    8. Groves, Theodore, 1973. "Incentives in Teams," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(4), pages 617-31, July.
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