Journal of Information Technology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 326–344 | Cite as

Governance configurations for inter-organizational coordination: A study of public safety networks

  • Jane Fedorowicz
  • Steve SawyerEmail author
  • Arthur Tomasino
Research Article


We focus on networked arrangements of digital resources that are shared among otherwise independent units to advance conceptual and empirical insights about their governance. We are motivated by the simple observation that, increasingly, independent organizations are engaging in shared activities, often relying on purpose-built digital infrastructures to support this move to inter-dependence. To advance current conceptualizations of networked governance, we draw on data from 42 public safety networks and use fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. We do so because fsQCA allows us to account for the realities of inter-dependence among the concepts and variables we consider and to illuminate the multiple viable governance patterns that are possible. The results show the importance of network-level governance competencies to manage stakeholders and information infrastructure to achieve high effectiveness of PSN. Analysis makes clear that there exist five configurations of PSN governance practices that enable high levels of network governance effectiveness. Common to all these configurations are the network-level competence in managing both stakeholders and the digital infrastructure, suggesting these are necessary (but not sufficient) network-level governance competencies. Building from the analysis, we advance the role of specific network-level governance competencies, and the current conceptualization of network governance more broadly.


network governance fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis public safety networks inter-organizational systems 



We are grateful for the support provided from NSF Grants 0852688 and 0534877 and the IBM Center for the Business of Government. However, the insights, analysis, and evidence are solely the authors’. We appreciatively acknowledge the collegiality and participation of the many members of the research effort from which these data are drawn. These include: Christine B. Williams, Bentley University; M. Lynne Markus, Bentley University; Martin Dias, Northeastern University; Sonia Gantman, Providence College; Dax Jacobson, Westminster College; Michael Tyworth, Penn State University; Robert Schrier. We thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their attention, our colleagues at Temple (especially Sunil Wattal), HEC Montreal (especially Suzanne Rivard), The Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany (especially Teresa Pardo), Queen’s University (especially Tracy Jenkin) San Francisco University (especially JP Allen and Steve Alter), Technical University of Munich, and the IT University of Copenhagen who commented on early versions of this analysis as presented in talks. The insights and attention of these many scholars have improved the work being presented here. An earlier version of this paper was published as Fedorowicz, J., Sawyer, S., and Tomasino, R. (2015) “Patterns of Governance among Inter-organizational Coordination Hubs,” Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Information Systems, Ft. Worth, TX, December 13–15, ACM Press.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Association for Information Technology Trust 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Fedorowicz
    • 1
  • Steve Sawyer
    • 2
    Email author
  • Arthur Tomasino
    • 1
  1. 1.Bentley UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.The School of Information StudiesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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