Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 145

Full Length Research Paper

The evolution of governance networks in a time of crisis. Evidence from the Italian tourism sector

Lucia Giovanelli*
  • Lucia Giovanelli*
  • Department of Economics and Management, University of Sassari, via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
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Federico Rotondo
  • Federico Rotondo
  • Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sassari via Roma 151, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
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Nicoletta Fadda
  • Nicoletta Fadda
  • Department of Economics and Management, University of Sassari, via Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
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  •  Received: 15 March 2015
  •  Accepted: 25 May 2015
  •  Published: 31 May 2015


This paper contributes to an understanding of the development of governance networks in well-defined space-time contexts. The first aim is to highlight features of public-private networks in tourism, under the perspectives of integration and managerialization, and to deduce general principles from the case study of «sistema turistico locale Sardegna Nord-Ovest». In particular, a set of variables to measure the level of integration among participants and the managerialization of a network, seen as pre-conditions of network performance, are identified on the basis of the literature. The second aim is to analyse the evolution of such partnerships, in light of the recent economic crisis, through comparison between performances measured at two moments in time over a three-year period: from the constitution to the renewal (2008-2011), and after two and half years from the renewal of the partnership (2012-2014). The empirical investigation, carried out using a personal interview approach, reveals that the choices of institutional design and process management are more important than the lack of resources for network success and that some contextual factors, such as the 'relationship capital', affect stability of networks. In wider terms, this paper promotes reflection on the impact of the recent socioeconomic crisis as well as on the strategies that, in such a context, can attenuate negative effects and enhance network stability and effectiveness.

Key words: Public governance, governance networks, integration, managerialization, evolution, crisis.