Agency-level Incentives and Risk Management in Mandated Collaboration

44 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2020

See all articles by Brian An

Brian An

Georgia Institute of Technology

Shui Yan Tang

University of Southern California

Date Written: March 22, 2020


Most studies in collaborative governance examine how system-level variables drive collaboration. But few have focused on how agency-level incentives shape local governing entities’ risk management strategies and responses to mandates for collaboration imposed by higher-level governments. By examining the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, a large-scale governance reform experiment passed by the California legislature in 2014, we show that agencies are more likely to participate in consolidated governance in the early stage of the collaborative mandate process if (1) they have broader missions, (2) their main stakeholders have lower concentrated interests in the given policy area, (3) their executives consider the given policy as more salient, and (4) they have a stronger risk-taking culture. The analysis helps to link collaborative governance research to the broader literature on collective action and common-pool resource governance.

Keywords: Collaborative governance, agency-level incentives, risk management, mandated collaboration, interagency collaboration

JEL Classification: D23, D70, Q25, L32

Suggested Citation

An, Brian and Tang, Shui Yan, Agency-level Incentives and Risk Management in Mandated Collaboration (March 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Brian An (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

685 Cherry St
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States


Shui Yan Tang

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
2137400379 (Phone)

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