Modular Network Governance: A Conceptual Framework for Addressing Complex Social Problems

37 Pages Posted: 6 May 2020

See all articles by Srivardhini K Jha

Srivardhini K Jha

IIM Bangalore

E. Richard Gold

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Laurette Dube

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management

Date Written: May 4, 2020

Abstract

We develop a conceptual governance framework to guide the creation and management of a modular network to address complex social problems. Drawing on theoretical foundations in modularity and inter-organizational networks, we propose that modularization of complex social problems is a dialectic, emergent process that blends a convener-led network formation with consultative problem definition and solution design. We also posit that social systems are imperfectly modular and need purposefully designed interface governance to integrate the modules. Finally, we advance how modularity may be leveraged to simultaneously advance the interests of participating actors and deliver societal value. The propositions together advance a governance framework for a modular, multiactor adaptive system suited to tackle the scale, diversity and dynamics of complex social problems.

Keywords: Social Problems; Modularity; Network Governance; Value Creation; Interdependence; Convergent Innovation

Suggested Citation

Jha, Srivardhini K and Gold, E. Richard and Dube, Laurette, Modular Network Governance: A Conceptual Framework for Addressing Complex Social Problems (May 4, 2020). IIM Bangalore Research Paper No. 615, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3592400 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3592400

E. Richard Gold

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

Laurette Dube

McGill University - Desautels Faculty of Management ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. West
Montreal, Quebec H3A1G5 H3A 2M1
Canada
514-398-4026 (Phone)
514-398-3876 (Fax)

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