By Patrick Kenis, Jorg Raab & Marc Esteve.

July, 17 2020   |   Editorial office

Ex Ante Knowledge for Infectious Disease Outbreaks: Introducing the Organizational Network Governance Approach

March 30, 2020, by: Patrick Kenis, Professor of Public Governance, School of Economics and Management (TiSEM), Head of Department of Public Governance and Associate Dean of Assessment and Quality Assurance at Tilburg University, the Netherlands, and Jorg Raab, Associate Professor at Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Department of Organization Studies, Tilburg University, the Netherlands.


The core question addressed is to what extent ex ante knowledge can be made available from a network governance perspective to deal with a crisis such as an infectious disease outbreak. Such outbreaks are often characterized by a lack of information and knowledge, changing and unforeseen conditions, as well as a myriad of organizations becoming involved on the one hand but also organizations which do not become adequately involved. We introduce the organizational network governance perspective as an exploratory approach to produce useful ex ante information for limiting the transmission of a virus and its impact. We illustrate the usefulness of our approach by introducing two fictitious but realistic outbreak scenarios: the West Nile Virus (WNV), which is transmitted via mosquitoes, and the outbreak of a New Asian Coronavirus (NAC) which is characterized by human-to-human transmission. Both viruses can lead to serious illnesses or even death as well as large health care and economic costs. Our organizational network governance approach turns out to be effective in generating information to produce recommendations for strengthening the organizational context in order to limit the transmission of a virus and its impact. We also suggest how the organizational network governance approach could be further developed.


Determinants of the costs of corporatization: analyzing the effects of the forms of governance

May 27, 2020, by: Marc Esteve, Professor at the School of Public Policy, University College London (UCL), and Visiting Professor at ESADEgov.


Public corporations have been constantly in the spotlight due to certain arguments indicating that they can assist governments to implement better public services and others defending that the complexities of their governance are simply too great. Research on public corporation performance nonetheless remains scarce. This study offers empirical evidence as to the effects of the different forms of corporatization on the costs of public services. The study specifically examines the costs of public services incurred via four different governance forms: public agency, public corporation, mixed public corporation with minority public ownership, and mixed public corporation with majority public ownership. The analysis took into account eight types of public services from 874 Spanish municipalities from 2014 to 2017. The empirical results indicate that public corporations do not provide less costly services than public agencies. In fact, mixed corporations with government majorities tend to be costlier than public agencies.

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