Trust in governance networks: Enhancing output legitimacy and performance; comparing Taiwan, Spain and The Netherlands

Evan Berman, Don Y. Chen, Jurian Edelenbos, Erik-Hans Klijn, Vicenta Sierra Olivera, Tamyko Ysa Figueras

Research output: Conference paperContribution

Abstract

Governance networks are generally seen as a vehicle to solve wicked problems. Wicked problems are problems where actors have divergent views about problems and solutions and where is much uncertainty about how to solve the problem and who can contribute to that. Generating innovative solutions for wicked problems requires that actors in the network exchange information but given the fact that most networks are also characterized by value conflicts, complex interactions and organizational interests this is not easy (Klijn et al., 2010). Trust is seen as an important condition that enhances information exchange, solidifies actors' relations and reduces transaction costs, and thus enhances the overall performance of networks (Lane and Bachman, 1998; Provan, 2009). But trust can also increase the legitimacy of decisions. If actors in the network trust each other they are more likely to accept the outcomes. In this paper we use survey material collected in three countries to explore the hypothesis that trust enhances network performances: Taiwan, Spain and The Netherlands. We use PSL to show the relations between trust, network performance, output legitimacy and network management strategies and to show the differences between the three countries. The empirical analysis shows that the overall model, using the data from all the three countries clearly shows a positive relation between the level of trust and performance, but also between the level of trust and output legitimacy. The number of network management strategies has both a significant impact on performance and on trust. In the paper we also analyze the differences between the three countries. In Taiwan the relation between output legitimacy and performance for instance is much stronger than in the two other countries. The relation between trust and performance and between trust and output legitimacy is on the other hand stronger in Spain and The Netherlands. The paper ends with a reflection on the findings and what they mean for research on networks and network performance.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2013
Event17th IRSPM Conference -
Duration: 10 Apr 201312 Apr 2013

Conference

Conference17th IRSPM Conference
Period10/04/1312/04/13

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