In search for inclusiveness: vertical complexity in public-nonprofit networks

Caroline Vermeiren, Peter Raeymaeckers, Jonathan Beagles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We examine how and why public-non-profit networks incorporate vertical complexity into their governance structures to allow network members to participate in the decision-making process. Our results show that public-non-profit networks establish levels of vertical complexity by hiring network coordinators and establishing group modes of governance (steering committees and workgroups). The representatives of the leading agencies state that vertical complexity is necessary in terms of balancing inclusiveness and efficiency in the network. The network members confirm that next to coordinators acting as stewards and mediators, group modes of governance are equally important for counterbalancing the uneven distribution of decision-making power and for restoring trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-209
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • Governance
  • networks
  • public-nonprofit
  • vertical complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration


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