Trust, power, and organizational routines: Exploring government's intentional tactics to renew relationships with nonprofits serving historically marginalized communities

Yuan Cheng, Jodi Sandfort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Existing public management practices and organizational routines in the contracting regime have systematically created power asymmetry and distrust between government agencies and nonprofits serving historically marginalized communities. However, little is known about how the government could reform public bureaucracies to renew relationships with these important organizations and build trust. Through a process-oriented inductive study of Minnesota's 2-Generation Policy Network, we find that government's cascading trust-building tactics both inside the bureaucracy and with nonprofits serving Black, Latino, Indigenous, and Immigrant/Refugee communities allowed them to create a new collaborative infrastructure that both changed organizational routines and built power to address racial inequities in the existing human service system. Power is not a zero-sum game. By sharing resources and building trust with their nonprofit partners, government agencies and nonprofits collectively access more power for genuine public management reform to address systematic inequities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-586
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Administration Review
Volume83
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper draws upon work undertaken at the Future Services Institute at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. We are grateful to our colleagues Sook Jin Ong, Henriet Hendriks, Trupti Sarode, Jovon Perry, Nikki Kovan, and Jane Tigan for all they have taught us over the last few years. We wish to thank the University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs Faculty Interactive Research Program for their funding support and the excellent research assistance by David Ambuel. We also want to thank Melissa Stone, Kathy Quick, Carrie Oelberger, Martha Feldman, and the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. The authors are solely responsible for the contents. 1

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society for Public Administration.

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