Improving the effectiveness of a regional development network

Walker, J 2013, Improving the effectiveness of a regional development network, Professional Doctorate, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Improving the effectiveness of a regional development network
Author(s) Walker, J
Year 2013
Abstract Regional development networks operate in complex environments in which the needs of member organisations may not necessarily be aligned with the vision and objectives of the networks themselves. The ability of regional development networks to achieve their aims is further complicated by the often voluntary nature of network membership. Such groups must also deal with the political reality of how governments enact social policy as various levels of governments themselves change. This research, which used an insider action research approach, identified the strengths and weaknesses of a voluntary regional development network to improve the practice of that group. The insights gained through the research were used to develop a framework of four capabilities: building the group’s internal and external identity; developing strong relationships with stakeholders; sourcing and using information effectively to build knowledge; and gaining the commitment of members and stakeholders to work towards the group’s goals and objectives. These capabilities are linked together by leadership capability. The framework may be used to assist and improve the effectiveness of networks in achieving their vision and goals. The research objectives included identifying areas which were problematic for the network and developing strategies of use to both this and other such groups to address weaknesses and take advantage of regional opportunities. The framework developed by the researcher is not designed as a ‘one size fits all’ solution to all of the problems and issues likely to be faced by regional development networks. Given the variations in size, composition and purpose of such groups, this would be neither practicable nor desirable. Rather the framework is a guide for network leadership. Members can identify the capabilities which are most relevant and useful for their own particular circumstances, and work to develop those capabilities which are meaningful to them.
Degree Professional Doctorate
Institution RMIT University
Keyword(s) Regional development
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Created: Fri, 18 Oct 2013, 11:04:13 EST by Denise Paciocco
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