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D. Inter-sectoral & Inter-governmental Dynamics

Panel Title The Boundary Challenge: How Can We Understand the Practice of Working Across Boundaries if We Can’t Do It Ourselves?
Chairs Prof. Janine O’Flynn ,The University of Melbourne, janine.oflynn@unimelb.edu.au
Helen Dickinson, The University of Melbourne, helen.dickinson@unimelb.edu.au
Panel Description Working across boundaries is one of the central challenges of public management practice, and occupies considerable scholarly effort. However, in seeking to explore the boundary challenge scholars remain largely confined to their disciplinary silos. How can we understanding the practice of working across boundaries and develop new knowledge if we don’t move beyond our own boundaries? And how can we do this?

In this panel we bring together experts who have explored various aspects of working across boundaries to address four key challenges:

  1. The concept challenge: what do we know about working across boundaries? How robust are our concepts? Where are the next conceptual developments to be found?

  2. The practice challenge: do we understand the craft of working across boundaries? What areas of the practice of working across boundaries have been missed? What are the next areas for exploration in the practice of working across boundaries?

  3. The methodology challenge: do our methodologically approaches enable us to understand working across boundaries and build robust conceptual understanding? What methodological challenges do we face in understanding working across boundaries? What are the next methodological developments in the field?

  4. The translation challenge: how effective have we been at understanding practice and developing conceptual and theoretical understanding from it? How successfully have we translated this back into the practice of public management?