Measuring, mapping and quantifying the effects of trust and informal communication on transboundary collaboration in the Great Lakes fisheries policy network

Song, Andrew M., Temby, Owen, Kim, Dongkyu, Cisneros, Angel Saavedra, Hickey, Gordon M., and UNSPECIFIED (2019) Measuring, mapping and quantifying the effects of trust and informal communication on transboundary collaboration in the Great Lakes fisheries policy network. Global Environmental Change, 54. pp. 6-18.

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Abstract

Ecosystem-based management of fisheries and other transboundary natural resources require a number of organizations across jurisdictions to exchange knowledge, coordinate policy goals and engage in collaborative activities. Trust, as part of social capital, is considered a key mechanism facilitating the coordination of such inter-organizational policy networks. However, our understanding of multi-dimensional trust as a theoretical construct and an operational variable in environmental and natural resource management has remained largely untested. This paper presents an empirical assessment of trust and communication measures applied to the North American Great Lakes fisheries policy network. Using a scale-based method developed for this purpose, we quantify the prevalence of different dimensions of trust and in/formal communication in the network and their differentiated impacts on decision-making and goal consensus. Our analysis reveals that calculation-based 'rational trust' is important for aligning mutual goals, but relationship-based 'affinitive trust' is most significant for influencing decision-making. Informal communication was also found to be a strong predictor of how effectively formal communication will influence decision-making, confirming the "priming" role of informal interactions in formal inter-agency dealings. The results also show the buffering and interactive functions of these components in strengthening institutional resilience, with procedural trust undergirding the system to compensate for a lack of well-developed relationships. Overall, this study provides evidence to suggest that informal communication and multi-dimensional trust constitute a crucial element for improving collaboration and reducing conflict in the networked governance of transboundary natural resource systems.

Item ID: 57336
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9495
Keywords: ecosystem-based management, fisheries governance, policy network, public administration, Canada, USA
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/)
Funders: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), IBM Center for the Business of Government
Projects and Grants: SSHRC 430-2011-0644, SSHRC 435-2014-0970
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 07:47
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160509 Public Administration @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160802 Environmental Sociology @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified @ 40%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830201 Fisheries Recreational @ 30%
83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8302 Fisheries - Wild Caught > 830204 Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) @ 30%
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