Monday, May 18, 2009

Barriers to new modes of horizontal governance

Recently, an article on barriers to new modes of horizontal governance, by my colleague Katrien Termeer, was published in Public Management Review.

She discusses barriers public managers encounter when implementing new modes of horizontal governance (like partnerships or network governance). Using a sensemaking perspective, three cases in the field of sustainable agriculture are analysed.

This is a quote from the conclusions:

"We revealed five main groups of barriers caused by: (1) conflicting convictions concerning good policy making; (2) stereotyping potential partners (as ideological, incompetent or old-fashioned); (3) the framing of the situation (as a crisis, a race to reach a deadline or an experiment for a selective group); (4) fear (of undermining existing policy, relapsing into old politics or not reaching governmental targets); and (5) cover-up strategies (not showing doubts, hiding internal struggles or not being willing to face disappointments). Barriers cannot be viewed as isolated obstacles to horizontal modes of governance because they reinforce each other. Possibilities for breaking open these barriers were found in organizing reflections, creating new
contexts and recognizing small wins."

To download the article click here

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