With cross-pollination of the public administration and policy implementation literatures, Madeleine Wright McNamara and John Charles Morris present the Multiorganizational Interaction Model as a framework to explore the use of cooperation, coordination, and collaboration between 15 federal/state agencies, local governments, and nongovernmental organizations working together to restore coastal habitats and replenish aquatic resources on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.
Content analysis of data collected through interviews and organizational documents allows comparisons to be made regarding the distribution of data across the continuum of interaction. The presence of policy mandates intending to prescribe relationships coupled with strong perceptions of collaboration, create opportunity to explore mandated and voluntary collaboration. Themes regarding mapping relationships within the multiorganizational arrangement, movement on the continuum, and implementation through mid-level personnel are discussed. The combination of theory development and testing provides readers with a theoretical framework through which to think about interorganizational interactions, and a case study to illustrate the ways in which these complex relationships manifest themselves in practice.
Multiorganizational Arrangements for Watershed Protection will be essential for scholars, students, and policy makers.
1. Multiorganizational Interactions for Watershed Protection
2. The Multiorganizational Interaction Model
3. An Empirical Test of the MIM
4. Perceptions of Administrators Implementing Coastal Resilience Policies
5. Implications for Theory and Practice
"Multiorganizational Arrangements for Watershed Protection signals a major advance in policy implementation research. The authors introduce a model of multi-organization interaction that operationalizes elements from current interorganizational and policy implementation literatures, and relies on these elements to distinguish different types of interaction. Their case study of the Virginia Seaside Heritage Program demonstrates the promise of this model for advancing understanding of multi-organizational arrangements and their importance for policy implementation."
Christine Reed, Professor Emeritus, School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha
"The study of policy implementation has long struggled with generational divides over the top-down/bottom-up approaches to the implementation process. Despite calls to move beyond this fundamental debate, the literature has been slow to catch-up. By examining collective action as a continuum of interactions within the implementation process, McNamara and Morris offer a more encompassing explanation of policy implementation that will unquestionably be of interest to scholars, students, and those interested in better understanding the challenges of the implementation process."
Martin Mayer, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
"This book is a well-crafted exploration of the important topic of multiorganizational arrangements. It succinctly lays out the problems and issues with traditional approaches to multiorganizational implementation and further introduces the Multiorganizational Interaction Model, a theoretical lens, to resolve problems with earlier approaches. The use of a detailed case study adds to our understanding of the new model and demonstrates how the model helps explain interactions between organizations. The development of the Multiorganizational Interaction Model and how it applies to a public policy setting is a significant contribution to the literature. The book is very well-referenced and is the first study to acknowledge that multiorganizational policy implementation occurs in part through informal relationships."
William M. Leavitt, Associate Professor Emeritus of Public Service, Old Dominion University