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The ABCs of Self-reinforcing Processes in Network Resiliency

Published by USC Bedrosian Center on

Adapting, Bouncing Back, and Coping

February 24, 2014
12:00pm to 1:30pm

“The A, B, C’s of Self-reinforcing Processes in Network Resiliency: Adapting, Bouncing Back, and Coping”

What is the relationship between an inter-organizational network’s internal dynamics and its capacity to adapt, bounce back, or survive in response to diminished financial resources? Understanding how to manage network resiliency to endogenous change or exogenous shocks remains a relatively under-studied problem in studies of networks involving governmental, non-governmental, and for-profit organizations. Because the public sector is often expected to coordinate resilient networks in response to predicted and unexpected natural, man-made, and economic collapses, the lack of research is a problem. The little research that does exist tends to emphasize a network’s evolution and flexibility to adapt, however, research has not yet fully addressed whether and how different network processes influence network resiliency.

This paper provides the theoretical rationale by reviewing the literature on change in public networks. The paper builds upon and extends recent research examining different logics of network coordination among multisectoral networks of government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations and presents the methodology and cases used in the analysis. The paper also examines how differences in network coordination among three networks were related to the self-organizing processes of network resiliency between eras of resource munificence and austerity. In the final section, the paper discusses the implications of the findings and the limitations of the study, highlighting how the paper contributes to both research and practice by clarifying and categorizing the relationship between three network self-organizing coordination processes and a network’s resilient capacity to adapt, bounce back, or cope.

Joaquín Herranz, Jr., joined the Evans School faculty in 2004. His research interests include multi-sectoral multi-organizational network performance and management, strategic management of public and nonprofit agencies, social enterprise, as well as the roles of art, culture, and creativity in community and regional development.

Herranz’s research includes studies for The Urban Institute, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, World Bank, and the International Labour Organization. His published scholarship includes peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Public Performance and Management Review, International Public Management Journal, Public Management Review, and the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.

He is currently writing a book about quadruple bottom line organizational performance in which he adds cultural creativity as the fourth bottom line to the triple bottom lines of financial, social, and environmental performance.

Herranz holds a Ph.D. in urban political economy and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a AB in urban political economy from Occidental College.

Areas of specialization
Network Analysis
Public and Nonprofit Relations
Urban and Social Policy
Workforce Development


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