Type of Document Dissertation Author Berardo, Alfredo Ramiro URN etd-11132006-145113 Title Resource Exchange and Collaboration in Fragmented Policy Arenas: A Study of Water Projects in Southwest Florida. Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Political Science, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title John T. Scholz Committee Chair Keywords
- Resource Exchange
- Southwest Florida
Date of Defense 2006-11-06 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe political fragmentation that characterize federal systems –and the extreme example that the American system constitutes of such a fragmentation- has attracted great attention from scholars interested in the study of the conditions under which collaborative behavior is achieved among different political actors, including governmental authorities, agencies, and the myriad of non-governmental political actors that may play a role in designing and implementing public policy.
While understanding how political actors arrive at collaborative outcomes is extremely important, it is also crucial to know how collaboration can be prolonged in time once it has been achieved. This dissertation contributes to a better understanding of this issue by asking the question of what type of relationship is more effective in maintaining collaborative results in the long run after the initial obstacles for cooperation have been removed. In particular, I explain how the exchange of needed resources between two organizational partners in a common collaborative effort affects their willingness to sustain their collaboration.
In so doing, I test the expectations of resource exchange theory in the inter-organizational relationships developed by partners in projects designed to protect water quality and natural systems, prevent flooding, and ensure water supply in southwest Florida. While resource exchange theory has been widely tested by sociologists interested in the effects that the exchange of resources has on inter-organizational behavior, the theory still has not encountered solid testing in political science, despite claims about its potential usefulness to aid researchers in the study of public policy (O’Toole 1997). This dissertation provides such initial test.
Results show that the likelihood of sustaining collaboration between partners grows when specific resources are exchanged that increase the chances of success of the projects mentioned above, and suggest that the key for long-term collaboration might lay on the creation of structures of exchanges that secure the provision of such critical resources.
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