Beyond the Network Border

The Emergence of Regional "Meta-Networks" and Their Effects on Dutch Public-Policy Projects

Although network research typically examines whole networks, interorganizational networks are not isolated entities. This study focuses on overlapping regional networks that emerge as an unintentional result of an amalgamation of central governmental projects. We use archival, interview, and social network data and visualize the normally imperceptible meta-networks. Large and centralized meta-networks are found to stimulate goal attainment, while smaller, decentralized meta-networks have higher-quality relations. Both funders and network members who co-implement public projects should make good use of regional meta-networks. Therefore, future research on the determinants of successful decentralized projects should include the dynamics and effects of meta-networks.
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