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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Gregg G. Guetschow
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Public Affairs and Administration
Title: Coordination, Collaboration and Culture: Local Economic Development in a Time of Networks
Dr. James A. Visser, Chair
Dr. Matthew Mingus
Dr. Kevin Corder
Date: Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Walwood Hall Commons
Social coordination takes form in accordance with three pure types – markets, hierarchy and networks. The research that is the subject of this dissertation explored coordination through networks involved in policy implementation. Of specific interest was the decision on the part of network participants to cooperate with other network participants to undertake these tasks. Conventional models of decision-making do not account for the interdependent and strategic nature of these interactions. To address this gap in understanding, a game theoretic model of decision-making was developed. Central to this model are the influences of political, organizational and professional culture and focal effects that direct network actors toward, or away from, cooperation. A qualitative methodology was developed that utilized multiple case studies of actors involved in local economic development activities. Data obtained through interviews with economic development actors offered little support for the proposed decision-making model. Analysis of the interview data in light of the assumptions upon which the decision-making model was based highlighted the role of interpersonal networks in economic development and the importance of the political process in coordinating economic development organizations within a community.