Skip to main content
photo
 
Understanding Transnational Public Sector Knowledge Networks

Project Summary

Publications & Results Partners

Funding Sources

Scope of Work

Related Web Sites

Contact Information


Related Publications
Issue Briefs (1)
Mobile Image
Sharing knowledge, information, technology and practices across cultural and national boundaries has become a means to address critical global problems. As governments strive to improve public health and safety, protect the environment, respond to disasters, or promote international commerce, they are engaging in new kinds of knowledge sharing networks as mechanisms for regional and global collaboration.

Reports (3)
Report cover
AIRNow-International (AIRNow-I) is an initiative led by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesign the US air quality monitoring and public reporting system to be scalable, interoperable, portable, and affordable to any country. Its guiding vision is a readily usable worldwide platform for sharing air quality information to improve public health. This case study assesses the internationalization of AIRNow through the lens of a collaborative project between EPA and the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center (SEMC) in China. We trace the history of air quality policy and management in both countries and then explore the structure and dynamics of their joint effort to build AIRNow-I Shanghai. This report describes the influences of the separate Chinese and American contexts on the participants and their interactions, and identifies the ways in which they bridged many types of contextual distances to produce successful results.

This report describes how a diverse mix of individuals and organizations representing two countries, three states, multiple levels of government, private industry, academia, and the public were able to successfully organize and then respond to improve air quality along the U.S. and Mexican border. The focal point of this study is the Joint Advisory Committee for the Improvement of Air Quality in the Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua/El Paso, Texas/Doña Ana County, New Mexico Air Basin (the JAC). It was through the JAC that this diverse mix of key actors were able to navigate the complex web of political, cultural, legal, and economic factors that posed challenges to developing a unified response to this shared air quality problem. The JAC’s strategies and methods were powerfully shaped by the characteristics of the physical setting and the organizational and political context. Many of these strategies and methods have considerable promise for other air shed regions, but must be tailored to the unique physical and social situations of each one.

Today, digital government (DG) research is being conducted all over the world. Most of this work is focused within the geographic and political contexts of individual countries. However, given the growing influence of global economic, social, technical, and political forces, the questions embedded in digital government research are now expanding to international dimensions. A reconnaissance study such as this one focuses on the defining characteristics of a topic rather an in-depth analysis. In this report, we describe the size, scope, variety, and trajectory of the field illustrated with selected studies and organizational profiles. This study is part of a multi-year effort funded by the United States (US) National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a framework for a sustainable global community of digital government researchers and research sponsors.

Download complete EndNotes References File.

Journal Articles and Conference Papers (7)
Journal Article Cover
Mohammed A. Gharawi and Sharon S. Dawes
Proceedings of the 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2013, Wed, 09 Jan 2013, >Download PDF
Transnational public sector knowledge networks (TPSKNs) are becoming crucial for addressing global problems in the environment, public health and other areas that require knowledge and information sharing among nations. This paper explores and compares a set of contextual distances that separate network participants and discusses their influence on network success. Based on previous research, we introduce nine contextual distances and compare and discuss their influence on two cases. We conclude with a discussion of the findings and suggestions for future research on knowledge and information sharing across national and cultural boundaries.

[Winner Best Paper Award in eGovernment Track, HICSS46]

Sharon S. Dawes, Mohammed Gharawi, and G. Brian Burke
Government Information Quarterly, Volume 29, Issue 1, Pages 112-120, January (special issue) 2012, >Download PDF
Sharing of knowledge, information, and practices across cultural and national boundaries has become a means to address critical global problems. As government agencies increasingly collaborate with international counterparts on these issues, transnational knowledge and information sharing networks grow in importance as mechanisms for collaboration. This paper explores the nature of Transnational Public Sector Knowledge Networks (TPSKNs) and identifies critical contextual factors that shape their performance. In these networks, each participating organization operates within complex national, organizational, and information contexts. The contextual differences between participants produce distances in culture, politics, intentions, organizational factors, relationships, knowledge, resources, geography, and technology. These distances influence their ability to engage in the processes and interactions that are essential to network performance. The paper concludes with a conceptual dynamic model that accounts for the relationships among these factors which can guide further research in understanding knowledge and information sharing across national and cultural boundaries.

Sharon S. Dawes, Mohammed A. Gharawi, and Brian Burke
Proceedings of the 44th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2011, Tue, 15 Feb 2011, >Download PDF
As government agencies increasingly collaborate with international counterparts on critical global issues, transnational knowledge and information sharing grow in importance. This paper explores the nature of Transnational Knowledge Networks (TKNs) and identifies critical contextual factors that hinder or enhance their performance. We explore a set of contextual distances that separate the participating organizations and discuss their potential influence on the success of TKNs. The paper concludes with a conceptual framework and a set of testable hypotheses to guide the next phase of our research in understanding knowledge and information sharing across national and cultural boundaries.

Mohammed Gharawi and Sharon Dawes
ICEGOV2010, Mon, 25 Oct 2010, >Download PDF
In the era of globalization, sharing of knowledge, information, and practices across cultural and national boundaries has been recognized as a key for handling the most critical problems. Consequently, the number of Transnational Knowledge Networks (TKNs) that aim to address critical global issues and problems continue to increase. As exchanging knowledge and information represent core components of these networks, this paper provides the foundations to study knowledge and information sharing in these emerging organizations. The paper starts by describing the structures, goals, and objectives of TKNs and presents a simplified conceptual model to demonstrate the main characteristics of these networks. Then, we review the pertinent egovernment literature and argue the need to include findings from two additional research areas, cross-boundary information sharing and knowledge transfer. The paper discusses the ways in which contributions from these areas can enhance our understanding of the complexity surrounding the exchange process in these networks. The paper concludes with a summary of the elements of complexity and an overview of future research to empirically test these concepts.

Mohammed A. Gharawi, Theresa A. Pardo, and Santiago Guerrero
3rd International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance (ICEGOV2009), Bogotá, Colombia, Tue, 10 Nov 10 2009, >Download PDF
This paper addresses and discusses the central issues that researchers have to deal with when conducting cross-national comparative research within the area of e-government. The issues are classified into two main categories. The first category represents the issues and challenges that may affect the reliability and the quality of data being collected for comparative studies. The second category represents the remaining issues related to the research objective, the selection process of countries and the analytical strategy. The paper discusses the major alternatives of these issues and provides a rationale for the selection process among them. The paper concludes by discussing the interrelations between the identified issues and clarifying the main decisions that researchers have to take when conducting cross-national comparative research.

Celene Navarrete A., Sehl Mellouli, Theresa A. Pardo, and J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2009, Sun, 15 Feb 2009, >Download PDF
Ophelia Eglene and Sharon S. Dawes
Administration & Society, Vol. 38, No. 5, Wed, 01 Nov 2006, pp 596-622 >Download PDF
Cross-cultural management research is a valuable but complex and error-prone endeavor. The main challenges the authors encountered in conducting a multinational research project included nonequivalence of key concepts, cultural stereotypes, assumptions of universality, and difficulties in comparative analysis. The authors identified crucial questions that need to be asked at each stage of the research for it to be both reliable and valid. These questions address such pitfalls as the importance of focusing on culture as an independent variable, the cultural dynamics of the research team, and the importance of translation and of finding culturally equivalent definitions of key concepts.