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ABSTRACT

The focus of this article is on managing networks. A network knowledge base is developed from the authors' studies of city government involvement in economic development, management within rural enterprises and the evaluation of a rural strategic planning project. Other public management network analyses are also incorporated. Management in network settings is not based on central authority and cannot be guided by a single organizational goal as is the case in the classical management approach. Management involves managing flexible structures toward collective efficiency. The ability to manage is related to the internal condition of the manager's primary organization. It involves technical, legal, political and cost dimensions. It requires different capacities, skills and knowledge from that of single organization management. The next steps in the research would include the development of the skills needed, an analysis of the role of organizational power and the operational variables of networks, the issue of network cohesion, and the question of loss of control or difficulty in assessing network accountability.