Networks for Social Impact (Paperback)
A broad review of how nonprofits, businesses, and governments work together to tackle social problems Networks for Social Impact takes a systems approach to explain how and when networks make a social impact. Michelle Shumate and Katherine R. Cooper argue that network design and management is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Instead, they show that the type of social issue, the mechanism for social impact, environment, and resources available each determine appropriate choices. Drawing on research from public administration, psychology, business, network science, social work, and communication, this book synthesizes what we know about how to best design and manage networks. It includes illustrations from thirty original case studies which describe groups of organizations addressing issues such as gender-based violence, educational outcomes, senior care, veterans' services, mental health and wellness, and climate change. Additionally, the volume examines critical issues that leaders address in creating and managing networks, including social issue analysis, network governance, securing and managing funding, dealing with power and conflict, using data effectively, and managing change. Each chapter includes tools for network leaders to use to handle these issues. This book is neither an overly idealistic, pro-collaboration account of the benefits of network approaches, nor is it a critical view of these efforts. Instead, this clear and concise volume highlights the opportunities and challenges of networks.
Michelle Shumate is the Delaney University Research Professor and the founding director for the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact at Northwestern University. She is also an associate faculty of the Institute for Policy Research. Her research focuses on how to design interorganizational networks to make the most social impact. The National Science Foundation recognized her research with a CAREER award. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Army Research Office. Nonprofit Quarterly, Stanford Social Innovation, and the Conference board have featured her work. She offers workshops, consulting, and coaching through the Social Impact Network Consulting. Katherine R. Cooper is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at DePaul University. As a researcher, Kate is primarily interested in nonprofit organizations and interorganizational collaboration in response to social problems. Her research has been published in both communication and nonprofit journals, as well as outlets for nonprofit practitioners, such as Nonprofit Quarterly and the Stanford Social Innovation Review. She remains active in the nonprofit sector as a volunteer and consultant.