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Resource Tangibility and the Evolution of a Publicly Funded Health and Human Services Network


Keith G. Provan is McClelland Professor, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. He holds joint appointments in the Management and Organizations Department and the School of Public Administration and Policy. He is also senior research fellow at Tilburg University. Professor Provan's research interests focus on interorganizational and network relationships, including network structure, evolution, governance, and effectiveness. He is currently coeditor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Kun Huang is assistant professor in the School of Public Administration, University of New Mexico. He holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. He is also senior fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico. Professor Huang's research interests focus on the use of organization theory and network analysis to study interorganizational collaboration in health and human services.


This article is a longitudinal examination of a publicly funded network of health and human services organizations that provide services to mentally ill adults. Data were collected at two points in time from a single network in a large U.S. metropolitan area: when the network was completely reorganized, and again when it had matured, four years later. Analysis focuses on changes in the patterns of interaction within and across five resource-based subnetworks. The authors argue that the structure of network relationships depends on the type of resources involved—whether tangible or intangible, the stage of network evolution, and whether macro- or micro-level interactions are considered. Implications for theory and for network management, governance, and policy are discussed.