Networks, Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management: NHS Cancer Networks
University of London - Royal Holloway College - School of Management
University of Warwick - Warwick Business School
King's College London
Public Money & Management, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 87-94, April 2006
There has been increased interest in the UK in network-based modes of organizing in the public services, as opposed to markets or hierarchies. One supposed advantage of the network form is a greater capacity for the transfer of evidence-based or 'best' practices across the network and accelerated organizational learning. Such networks may have a knowledge management role and stimulate the formation of 'communities of practice'. This article tests these arguments using data from a study of managed NHS cancer networks in London. The general pattern was for networks to concentrate on structural reconfiguration, while their knowledge management role remained marginal. Some alternative implications for future policy development are considered.
Date posted: May 8, 2006