Tying the Network Together: Evaluating the Impact of an Intervention into the Advice Network of Public Managers

25 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2011  

David Lazer

Northeastern University - Department of Political Science; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Ines Mergel

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Networks are often see as emergent and self-managed; and yet much of the research on networks examines how networks affect the effectiveness of systems and individuals. Is it possible to intervene in the configuration of a network to improve how it functions? Here we evaluate the impact of an intervention to change the array of relationships connecting a set of distributed public managers, State Health Officials (SHOs). SHOs were brought together for a one week executive educational program near the beginning of their tenures. This paper evaluates the question as to whether this program had long run effects on the ties among SHOs. Using a combination of survey and interview data, we find that there is a substantial effect on the probability of ties between individuals that attend the program together, relative to individuals who attend the program in different cohorts. Given recent findings that highlight the importance of interpersonal networks in the effectiveness of individual managers, this suggests a potential role for interventions to improve the efficiency of dispersed, public sector manager to manager networks.

Suggested Citation

Lazer, David and Mergel, Ines, Tying the Network Together: Evaluating the Impact of an Intervention into the Advice Network of Public Managers (2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1881674 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1881674

David Lazer (Contact Author)

Northeastern University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-2796 (Phone)
617-373-5311 (Fax)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Taubman Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-0102 (Phone)
617-496-1722 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.davidlazer.com

Ines Mergel

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ( email )

215 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/iamergel/

Paper statistics

Downloads
55
Rank
314,253
Abstract Views
515