Environmental Studies

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A need for successful collaborative strategies is an enduring problem in natural resource management. Several qualities of “successful” partnerships have been identified but few empirical studies have tested these claims against the information sharing structure of “unsuccessful” partnerships. This paper examines the ego networks of members in a partnership that has not successfully reached its goals as an illustration of the ways in which external ties relate to attitudes and relationships within a partnership. By focusing on information sharing frequencies, member ideologies, and power structure among organizations involved in a groundwater controversy, we test the extent to which the process and outcomes of participation align with conditions often used to indicate “success”. Results show that individuals who think that science is objective maintain information sharing ego networks that include a larger proportion of ties outside of the partnership than those who consider science to be less certain. Individuals who consider themselves a member of the partnership are more central to the network of organizations invited to join the partnership and maintain a greater proportions of unique ties relative to ties common across multiple actors. This case study challenges widely held assumptions about the properties of successful collaborations and supports claims that scientific discourse can be used to obscure debates over values.

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Procedia - Social and Beavioral Sciences



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Published Open Access by Elsevier.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.07.486.


6th Conference on Applications of Social Network Analysis

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.