The role of bridging organizations in environmental management: Examining social networks in working groups

Adam A. Kowalski, Lekelia D. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The linkage of diverse sets of actors and knowledge systems across management levels and institutional boundaries often poses one of the greatest challenges in adaptive management of natural resources. Bridging organizations can facilitate interactions among actors in management settings by lowering the transaction costs of collaboration. The Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) is an example of a bridging organization that is focused on linking actors within the ocean sciences and governance arena through the use of working groups. This research examines how network connections between group members affect working group functionality and, more specifically, whether cohesive network structures allow groups to more effectively achieve their goals and objectives. A mixed-methods approach, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods, is employed to understand the structural characteristics of COS working groups. The study finds that cohesive network structures are not associated with increased working group functionality. Strong, centralized leadership is a better predictor of working group success in achieving goals and objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEcology and Society
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Bridging organizations
  • Environmental management
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology

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