The ‘Rules of the Game’ in Public Sector Collaboration




Pollard, Ben

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This dissertation explores the role of institutions (as ‘the rules of the game’) in attempts to foster public sector collaboration to address cross-cutting policy issues in agencified jurisdictions. The dissertation develops an analytical framework that builds from the Institutional Analysis and Design Framework’s rules rubric with an expanded approach to scope rules that incorporates concepts of importance, interdependence and framing of the policy issue. The analytical framework is multi-level, analyzing the policy, transmission and implementation areas to identify what may influence the formation of collaborative approaches. This analytical framework was applied to a study of WelcomeBC, which was British Columbia’s approach to the settlement and integration of newcomers from 2006-2014. WelcomeBC had a strong focus on collaboration to achieve their goals, and made several attempts across three policy realms (English Language, Labour Market, and Family and Community Settlement) to foster collaboration. The dissertation found that the analytical framework was useful in analyzing the role of rules in collaborative efforts and had explanatory power that would be useful for both advancing the literature to support cross-case learning and aggregation of knowledge, and for policymakers in attempts to foster collaboration. The analysis also identified some challenges and opportunities in fostering collaboration within New Public Management-informed jurisdictions.



public sector collaboration, public administration, collaboration, implementation, institutional analysis, metagovernance, rules of the game