The Relationship Between Governance Roles and Performance in Local Public Interorganizational Networks: A Conceptual Analysis

Kees C. L. Span*, Katrien G. Luijkx, Jos M. G. A. Schols, Rene Schalk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Web of Science)


Local public networks can be governed in many different ways. Among scholars as well as among practitioners, there is some debate about the best approach. Based on literature, this article examines the relationship between local public network governance roles, contingency factors, and network performance in a theoretically informed way. Governance roles are positioned on a continuum from top-down (commissioner) to bottom-up (facilitator), with an intermediate area (coproducer). How governance roles influence the performance of local public networks is assumed to depend on contingency factors, which might explain the inconsistent results of studies examining this influence. An integrated model of local public network governance is presented that includes four contingency factors: the number of network participants, diversity of network members, degree of customizability of service demands, and the number of new network participants. The model can be applied to the heterogeneous contexts that local governments encounter when governing local public networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-201
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • network governance roles
  • local public networks
  • network contigencies and network performance

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