Collaborative Public Management: Assessing What We Know and How We Know It


Michael McGuire is an associate professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University–Bloomington. He is the coauthor (with Robert Agranoff) of Collaborative Public Management: New Strategies for Local Governments, which received the 2003 Louis Brownlow Book Award from the National Academy of Public Administration.


Collaborative public management research is flourishing. A great deal of attention is being paid to the process and impact of collaboration in the public sector, and the results are promising. This article reviews the literature on collaborative public management by synthesizing what we know from recent research and what we’ve known for quite some time. It addresses the prevalence of collaboration (both recently and historically), the components of emerging collaborative structures, the types of skills that are unique to collaborative management, and the effects of collaboration. Collaborative public management research offers a set of findings that contribute to an emerging knowledge base that supplements established public management theory.