Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Affairs and Administration


Social coordination takes form in accordance with three pure types: markets, hierarchies, and networks. The research that is the subject of this dissertation explored coordination through interorganizational networks involved in policy implementation. Of specific interest was the decision on the part of network participants to cooperate with other network participants to undertake implementation tasks. Conventional models of decision-making do not account for the interdependent and strategic nature of these interactions. To address this gap in understanding, a model of decision-making was developed. Central to this model are the influences of political, organizational, and professional culture and focal effects directing network actors toward, or away from, cooperation. A qualitative methodology was pursued that utilized multiple case studies of actors involved in local economic development activities. Data obtained through interviews with economic development actors offered little support for the proposed decision-making model. Analysis of the interview data in light of the assumptions upon which the decision-making model was based highlighted the role of interpersonal networks in economic development and the importance of the political process in coordinating economic development organizations within a community.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access