Description: Examining human interaction networks contributes to an understanding of factors that improve and constrain collaboration. This study examined multiple network levels of information exchanges within a public service model designed to strengthen community partnerships by connecting city services to the neighborhoods. The research setting was the Neighbourhood Integrated Service Teams (NIST) program in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. A literature review related information dimensions to the municipal structure, including social network theory, social network analysis, social capital, transactive memory theory, public goods theory, and the information environment of the public administration setting. The research method involved multiple instruments and included surveys of two bounded populations. First, the membership of the NIST program received a survey asking for identification of up to 20 people they contact for NIST-related work. Second, a network component of the NIST program, 23 community centre coordinators in the Parks and Recreation Department, completed a survey designed to identify their information exchanges relating to regular work responsibilities and the infusion of NIST issues. Additionally, 25 semi-structured interviews with the coordinators and other program members, collection of organization documents, field observation, and feedback sessions provided valuable insight into the complexity of the model. This research contributes to the application of social network theory and analysis in information environments and provides insight for public administrators into the operation of the model and reasons for the program's network effectiveness.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Schultz-Jones, Barbara Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries