Coordination Networks among Local Human Service Organizations: Insights into Super-Connectors and Barriers [2020]

This article examines service coordination patterns across various service areas in Albany, the capital city of the New York State. Based on 42 in-person interviews with executive directors at various human service agencies, inter-organizational network was constructed and analyzed. The network displayed sparse and multipolar connectivity, suggesting that organizations operate in silos, with few organizations holding key positions of structural importance in the network architecture (so-called “super-connectors”). In addition, content analysis drew qualitative insights into perceived challenges to coordinate services. Several factors, both external (e.g., lack of trust or centralized communication system) and internal (e.g., lack of resources or knowledge) might have contributed to the observed structural properties. This finding suggests further examining the role of super-connectors in future research to better understand why these hubs exist and how they can work with other organizations in a cooperative and mutually beneficial manner.

Wonhyung Lee, Charalampos Chelmis & Kirsten DiNicola
Journal of Social Service Research, 04 Aug 2020