Networks for Social Impact

ISBN : 9780190092009

Michelle Shumate; Katherine R. Cooper
280 ページ
156 x 235 mm

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.


List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter One: What are Networks for Social Impact?
Social impact
Research methods
The dimensions of networks for social impact
Configurational and process approaches to social impact
Axioms of this book
Plan of the book
Case Study: Summit Education Initiative
Tools for Network Instigators: Overview of cases
Chapter Two: Is Social Impact the Goal?
Defining social impact and network outcomes
Outcomes other than social impact
What kind of problem is the network trying to solve?
Dead-ends to social impact
Pathways to social impact
Case Study: The Wisconsin Association for Independent Colleges and Universities
Tools for Network Instigators: Root cause analysis
Chapter Three: Setting up the Network
Network instigators
Recruiting network participants
Managing network membership
Decision-making processes
Setting the goal or goals of the network
Defining structures and roles
Developing external legitimacy
Getting funding
Network reincarnations
Dead ends in network emergence
Network dilemmas in emergence
Pathways to social impact from network emergence
Case study: Education for All
Tools for network instigators: Actor maps and consensus-based decision making
Chapter Four: The Influence of Funders and Resources
The resources that bring social impact networks together
What resources are needed to achieve social impact
Dead ends to social impact
Dilemmas in managing network resources
Network pathways to social impact
Case study: Two networks to combat gender-based violence
Tools for network instigators: Fiscal sponsorship and community asset inventory
Chapter Five: Power and Conflict
Power in networks
Interfaces for conflict
Dead ends for addressing conflict
Dilemmas in managing network conflict
Pathways to social impact in the midst of conflict
Case study: NF Collective
Tools for network instigators: Stakeholder participation tool and VOICE heuristic
Chapter Six: Using Data to Support Networks' Theory of Change
Data use for project-based social impact
Data use for learning-based social impact
Data use for policy-based social impact
Data use for catalyst-based social impact
Data use for systems-alignment based social impact
Data use for network management
Data use for community empowerment
Dead ends for data use to support theories of change
Network dilemmas for data use to support theories of change
Pathways for data use to support theories of change
Case study: Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative
Tools for network instigators: Data use in networks tool and pivot tables
Chapter Seven: Remaining Agile and Adaptable
Incremental change and serendipitous networks
Radical change and serendipitous networks
Incremental change and goal-directed networks
Radical change and goal-directed networks
Network death and reincarnation
Dead-ends for managing network change
Dilemmas in managing network change
Pathways for managing network change
Case study: Westside Infant Family Network
Tools for network instigators: Network change decision-tree
Chapter Eight: Frontiers for Networks for Social Impact
The axioms for social impact networks
Implications for researchers, network instigators, and funders


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.