Interorganizational engagement in collaborative environmental management: Evidence from the South Florida ecosystem restoration task force

Ramiro Berardo, Tanya Heikkila, Andrea K. Gerlak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Collaboration is commonly used to deliver public services that reach beyond the individual capacities of independent organizations. Although much of the literature in the fields of collaborative governance has offered theoretical insights to explain how stakeholders might initially enter into collaborative processes or how the design of collaborative processes can support continued stakeholder participation over time, the literature has not effectively studied what factors might drive actors to engage one another in a particular conversation or discussion during a collaborative process, nor what factors affect whether engagement is cooperative or conflictual. We fill this gap through a more "micro-level" view of collaborative engagement in a study of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, a collaborative arrangement involving representatives from 14 federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, charged with advising and coordinating the efforts in South Florida to restore and recover the Florida Everglades. We use data from coded meeting minutes of discussions among the participants in the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Program Task Force over a 5-year time frame and demonstrate that the types of issues under discussion and the actors involved in discussion can either foster or inhibit engagement and conflict during dialogue. Our results have important implications for the development of a stronger theory of collaborative engagement in interorganizational partnerships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-719
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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