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Beware of managers not bearing gifts: how management capacity augments the impact of managerial networking

Meier, Kenneth John and O'Toole, Laurence J. 2008. Beware of managers not bearing gifts: how management capacity augments the impact of managerial networking. Presented at: 2008 American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, USA, 28-31 August 2008.

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Abstract

Networks and managing in the network have been central concerns of public management scholars for years (Agranoff and McGuire 2003; Herranz 2008; O’Toole 1997; Provan and Milward 1991). The literature has investigated the extent of networks (Hall and O’Toole 2004), the appropriate way to measure networks and network behavior (McGuire 2002; Meier and O’Toole 2005), and the role that networking plays in improving organizational performance (O’Toole and Meier 2003). Although there are qualifications in the literature to the rosy scenario that managing in the network is always a good thing (O’Toole and Meier 2004), and although the benefits of managerial networking show diminishing returns (Hicklin, O’Toole, and Meier 2008), there has not been much investigation of the factors that enhance or detract from networking’s impact on performance. This manuscript takes a first step in a contingency approach to managerial networking in public organizations by incorporating the concept of managerial capacity. Managerial capacity should enhance the impact of networking in two ways. First, it provides the ability to take action based on the information or opportunities that exist in the network. Second, it could provide the slack resources that managers need to invest in network activities rather than the day-to-day internal management of the organization. This study examines the interactive relationship between management capacity and managerial networking using a panel of several hundred public organizations over an eight-year period. The empirical results show that managerial capacity does interact with networking and enhances the positive impact of networking over an array of performance indicators. At the same time, building managerial capacity is a central management choice, and that decision has ramifications for organizations that are not always positive. The paper concludes with the managerial implications of the strategic choice to build management capacity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human resource management
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:36
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/23524

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