Networking Partner Selection and Its Impact on the Perceived Success of Collaboration
Scholars have emphasized networks as a new agenda or a necessary tool for solving public problems and research on networks have been actively conducted. However, little attention has been given to how networking partners are selected and activated. This question is critical when a networking partner is voluntarily chosen. To fill this gap in knowledge, this study proposes four possible scenarios for the selection of networking partners based on the intention to network with a potential partner and the activation of networking with that partner. Results show that the scenario of not-intended-but-nonetheless-activated networking brings the highest increase in perceived success of collaboration while the scenario of intended-and-activated networking results in the second highest among the four scenarios. However, it was also found that the scenario of not-intended-but-nonetheless-activated networking is less likely in the real world where public managers are asked to strategically find beneficial partner candidates and to achieve the activation of networking with those candidates. This study expects to promote understanding of the process of networking partner selection.