Collaboration between public sector organizations is typically understood as a response to complexity. Agencies collaborate in order to address complex, cross-cutting policy needs that cannot be met individually. However, when organizational size is a constraining factor in public service efficiency, collaboration can also reduce costs by capturing scale economies unavailable to organizations of sub-optimal size. Using organization theory, the article conceptualizes these two different triggers for public sector collaboration, and builds a framework for tracing their wider impact upon the formation, operation and outcome of inter-agency partnerships. The framework is illustrated, and its implications for future research explored.
Elston, T., MacCarthaigh, M., & Verhoest, K. (2018). Collaborative cost-cutting: productive efficiency as an interdependency between public organizations. Public Management Review, 20(12), 1815-1835. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2018.1438498