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Abstract

We present both researcher and practitioner responses to the results of a 2007 research study originally designed to apply social network theory to the Neighborhood Integrated Service Teams (NIST). The municipal government for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada designed and implemented the model in 1995 to strengthen community partnerships by connecting city services to the neighborhoods. They defined program effectiveness in terms of reduced citizen problems, with more than a 60% decrease of complaints to City Council by citizens since inception.

Social network analysis mapped the relationships of network members and social network theory was applied to the results. Sociograms represent the interactions across and within the networks. The results and analysis demonstrated the pattern of information flows and the behavior of collaboration across the networks. These results were presented to the full NIST membership, NIST coordinator and City Manager for feedback.

The research results demonstrate that collaboration network effectiveness extends beyond the realization of one organizational goal, encompassing contextual benefits unrecognized without an examination of the information environment. The combination of researcher and practitioner perspectives provides a more complete view of the information environments within collaboration networks and informs a broader consideration of network effectiveness dimensions.