Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Network based governance in public and private sector

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.04.00  Social sciences  Administrative and organisational sciences   
5.03.00  Social sciences  Sociology   

Code Science Field
S000  Social sciences   

Code Science Field
5.06  Social Sciences  Political science 
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (9)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  20010  PhD Nina Bandelj  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2017  210 
2.  08848  PhD Hajdeja Iglič  Sociology  Head  2014 - 2017  142 
3.  25829  PhD Helena Kovačič  Administrative and organisational sciences  Researcher  2014 - 2017  60 
4.  33786  PhD Simona Kukovič  Political science  Researcher  2015 - 2017  309 
5.  38051  Bojana Novak-Fajfar    Technical associate  2016 
6.  50570  PhD Klemen Ploštajner  Sociology  Junior researcher  2017  78 
7.  01103  PhD Andrej Rus  Sociology  Researcher  2014 - 2017  201 
8.  00388  PhD Veljko Rus  Sociology  Researcher  2014  536 
9.  36855  Mira Vončina    Technical associate  2014 - 2015 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0582  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences  Ljubljana  1626957  40,366 
The main focus of the research program are cooperative networks of public and private sector. We will be especially interested in the processes of trust formation and network building within and between public and private organizations, as well as between different sectors of the society such as economy, state and civil society.   The central research problem is governance of networks that include diverse actors. Recently, networks have been recognized as a crucial governance mechanism between civil society, state institutions and organizations in public and private sector. Networks are becoming very important even within the traditionally hierarchical social settings. For example, state institutions are turning away from the classical bureaucratic model of governance and introducing elements of network based governance, due to the increased participation of the general public, various civil initiatives, non-profit organizations and private firms in the issues that are of public interest.  Social networks are ever more important also in private sector, where network approach is used in the coordination of value added chains and strategic alliances as well as in the fields of R&D and marketing. Network based governance requires established trust and cooperation between diverse actors. The processes which lead to the formation of social networks and trust building depend on the type of actors involved and social context in which networks are embedded.   Our research program develops along three different sets of research problems, defined at the individual, organizational and systemic levels.   Individuals and personal networks In the past, we studied individuals and their personal networks in relation to political participation. Networks were considered as social resource which allows for the active participation of citizens in political life. In the next period, we would like to complement this predominantly structural with the relational approach. We will be interested in how dynamics of network formation in the Slovenian civil society affects corruption and the existence of corruptive practices, whether recent trends in social inequality have caused any significant changes in social networks and understandings of social relations between people, as well as how did the increased dependence on informal networks in every day life changed the attitudes of the Slovenian population towards the public goods.   Organizations and inter-organizational cooperation We will study the networks of public and private sector organizations as a cooperation problem. Key research question will be the formation of new ties and trust among organizations and the challenges they face in broadening their existing networks. In order to do this we intend to analyze public networks in the fields of education and health care system. Also, governance of public enterprises will be analyzed as a network spanning the fields of economy, politics and civil society. In all these studies a special attention will be given to the processes of inter-organizational learning.   Globalisation and its impact on network based governance Globalization has strong impact on the structure and content of relations between actors operating in the global and domestic contexts, which is why we include this perspective into our research program. Here, we will raise questions like the affects of rising social inequality, changing economic cultures, and various legitimating mechanisms of contemporary financial models on the opportunities and barriers for the formation of economic ties between potential business partners.
Significance for science
The proposed research program aims to contribute to three well established scientific fields: organizational theory, political sociology and economic sociology.   Organizational theory The contributions to organizational theory will be made by bringing together social networks perspective and the concept of governance. Our studies will in particular increase the knowledge of: · cooperation processes within and between public and private organizations, · corporate governance of the state owned enterprises and large public systems, · processes of inter- and intra-organizational learning, · public management.   Economic sociology In the field of economic sociology our main contribution will be in developing the relational approach by simultaneously examining the structure of social networks and content of social ties. This will help us to: · gain better understanding of the relationship between structural embeddedness and economic behaviour, · further develop the theory of social trust and its role in the formation of new social ties between economic actors, · increase the knowledge of the causal relationship between the structural and relational characteristics of social networks and economic performance of actors.   Political sociology In the field of political sociology we will contribute to the understanding of the interaction between the macro-social changes and micro-social interactions. Specifically, our research will contribute to the understanding of: · the impact of macro-social changes on the formation, structure and character social capital, · the role of social capital in corrupt exchanges, · the impact of social capital on the construction and perceptions of public goods.
Significance for the country
Network governance is one of the biggest challenges of contemporary societies. The problem of socio-economic development lies in its high level of complexity arising not from the technical nature of problems but due to a web of interactions between multiple actors and stakeholders. Coordination of multiple actors with divergent interests and their cooperation within coherent action framework without resorting to power of a central command while avoiding the chaos is a key challenge that is incorporated in the notion of network governance.   Proposed research program immediately deals with this crucial issue of socio-economic development in Slovenia. Immediate impact of this research program on network governance is manifested in the following specific areas of application.   First, transfer of knowledge between academic sphere and business remains one of the highest priorities for both Slovenia and the EU. Inadequate cooperation between the two sectors, i.e. the public research and private business, remains one of the most detrimental barriers to faster socio-economic development. This research program will immediately contribute to the improvement of governance of those organization forms, where public and private sector intersect.   The second area of immediate application of knowledge on network governance is in the area of healthcare and higher education in Slovenia. With partial privatization of healthcare and higher education in Slovenia, there is a clear need for better governance of networks of public and private service providers. One of the key challenges of governance in healthcare and higher education is high fragmentation of services and resources. Immediate impact of this research program for governance of these two areas lies in the answer to the question how to integrate services without impeding professional autonomy and economic incentives of providers.   Third, public-private partnerships (PPP). In spite of favorable legal framework in Slovenia, PPPs have not taken root to a sufficient degree. The reason lies in their complexity and high levels of uncertainty regarding the implied risks. PPPs require high levels of trust and cooperation, which is the central topic of our research program.   Fourth, network governance is a key to local development. Local governments always lack sufficient founding. Successful local development policies therefore depend on voluntary coordination of actors with public and private resources.   Fifth, to be successful, large businesses have to master organizational learning in order to be innovative. At the same time, they need to manage their supply networks whose governance is one of the key competitive advantages. This research program directly addresses both issues.   Six, under conditions of restricted resources, founding of new companies is primarily a matter of linking of people, ideas, and resources. The experience of co-working movement proves that for the success of micro companies, the networking competences are more important than technological prowess.   Indirect impact of this research program will be reflected in the promotion of the state and its international reputation via more effective governance and the development of graduate and doctoral programs.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2014, 2015, 2016, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2014, 2015, 2016, final report
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