Institutionalization or interaction: Which organizational factors help community-based initiatives acquire government support?

Malika Igalla*, Jurian Edelenbos, Ingmar van Meerkerk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Increasingly, Western local governments are dealing with community-based initiatives (CBIs) of citizens providing public services. Municipalities possess critical resources CBIs generally lack, including subsidies, buildings, and exposure. There is still little knowledge on CBIs' factors for government support. Therefore, this study adopts an organizational perspective distinguishing among institutionalization (intraorganizational, e.g., organizational size and democratic legitimacy) and interaction (interorganizational, e.g., boundary spanning leadership [BSL]) factors for the support CBIs obtain from local government. Analyzing large N data (N = 2331) from CBIs in six countries by using structural equation modeling, we found that interaction factors are related to more government support, whereas institutionalization factors are less significant. More specifically, we found stronger relationships for BSL and linking social capital than for the factors related to the formalization and development of organizational infrastructure, including the much-discussed democratic legitimacy of CBIs, suggesting a limited interest of governments in this topic as a factor for support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)803-831
Number of pages29
JournalPublic Administration
Volume99
Issue number4
Early online date12 Feb 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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