This analysis will analyze the four publications provided by the instructor, regarding external communication, for research and reflection. The primary focus will be on the application of the information to the public sector, and the implications my findings may have on public sector accountability and performance.
In the book, The Power of Communication, Doris Graber provides a comprehensive overview of the public’s interactions and encounters with public administrators (2003). Graber states that accountability and responsiveness are the most important reasons for communication between public officials and citizens but responsiveness is generally poorer in the public sector because demand is higher than the public sector can handle (2003). Although agencies that rely on citizen input and are structured accordingly are more responsive (Graber, 2003). Communications with the public are a necessary are part of government in order to determine the needs of the public and to provide appropriate services. The main point Graber is making is that the citizens, their feedback and input are a necessary and valuable part of government and as public administrators we should be accountable and responsive to the public we serve (2003).
While Graber focused on individual interactions with public administrators, Laurence O’Toole focused on communication between agencies and external entities (1997). Examples of common inter-organizational ties include contracting arrangements, public-private partnerships, economic development initiatives, complex intergovernmental and inter-unit links (O'Toole, 1997). Interagency coordination and communication typically face challenges such as formal leadership and relationships inhibiting timely communications (O'Toole, 1997). Although, a significant amount of research has been done on coordination and communication between inter-organizational entities scholars have yet to agree on basic concepts but there is agreement that that ways these structures are related to communication is complicated. (O'Toole, 1997)
Robert Agranoff defines public management networks as collaborative connections, like social networks, that are not only comprised of representatives of different organizations but individuals who represent organizations working across their boundaries to solve problems that cannot be solved , or solved easily by single organizations (2006). Agranoff offers ten lessons pertaining to these networks which are (1) while networks should not be discounted they are not the only method of collaboration; (2) working within one’s own entity is still the most prevalent means of resolution to problem solving; (3) the network must produce results; (4) networks differ from organizations but still require structure; (5) not all networks solve problems, some are purely...