The Multiplexity of Collaborative Networks in Post-Disaster Recovery: Testing Intra-Sector and Cross-Sector Network Contexts

AuthorHuan-Sheng Lin,Chu-Chien Hsieh,Don-Yun Chen
Published date01 March 2023
Date01 March 2023
Subject MatterArticles
Administration & Society
2023, Vol. 55(3) 485 –514
© The Author(s) 2023
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/00953997221147240
The Multiplexity of
Collaborative Networks
in Post-Disaster
Recovery: Testing Intra-
Sector and Cross-Sector
Network Contexts
Huan-Sheng Lin1, Chu-Chien Hsieh2,
and Don-Yun Chen3
While disaster management provides an ideal testbed for interorganizational
collaborative networks that pursue disaster assistance goals, limited
research examines how multiplexity in multidimensional networks
hinders disaster recovery efforts. This study examines the collaborative
networks formed by intra-sector and cross-sector relationships among
governments and NGOs in the context of post-disaster recovery,
using a nationwide survey in Taiwan. The findings suggest that more
heterogeneous contexts and more diversified network members would
increase the complexity of network in it, and thus affecting network
effectiveness of disaster management. Furthermore, NGO actors have
faced the dilemma of building mutual ties through interorganizational and
homogeneous collaboration.
1Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA
2National Taichung University of Education, Taichung City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
3National Chengchi University, Taipei City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Corresponding Author:
Chu-Chien Hsieh, Department of Regional and Social Development, National Taichung
University of Education, No. 140, Minsheng Rd., West Dist., Taichung City 40306, Taiwan
(R.O.C.). Email:
1147240AAS0010.1177/00953997221147240Administration & SocietyLin et al.
486 Administration & Society 55(3)
collaborative networks, disaster management, intra-sector and cross-sector
relationships, post-disaster recovery
Governance in collaboration with nonprofit organizations has received
worldwide enthusiasm from governments in need of resources, capacities,
and legitimacy in responding to increasingly complex public and social issues
(Donahue & Zeckhauser, 2011). Such collaborative forms may be achieved
through partnerships, coalitions, and alliances between nonprofit, private,
and public sector organizations, with varying degrees of formality (Simo &
Bies, 2007). The willingness and capacities of both governments and non-
profits to engage with each other are restricted by multiple factors, including
problems of control and coordination, communication, and complex individ-
ual and leadership behaviors. As a mode of collective action for achieving
public purposes, collaborative formal and informal networks are believed to
have a positive impact on the effectiveness of disaster management among
public, nonprofit, and private organizations in situations of disaster prepared-
ness, response, and recovery.
Pipa (2006) found that in the immediate aftermath of many natural disas-
ters, nonprofit agencies and religious congregations filled large gaps and
played a crucial role in collaborating and ensuring the safety and well-being
of victims, even in the face of limited centralized support and established
networks. However, prior work has also demonstrated there are many
restraints on these collaborations, including the lack of structural and resource
motivations for nonprofit collaboration (Guo & Acar, 2005), the nonprofits’
institutional environment (Galaskiewicz, 1985), and the nonprofits’ limita-
tions in resources, accountability, and coordination (Gajewski et al., 2011).
Here we address a central theme: Assessing the effectiveness of organiza-
tional networks in post-disaster recovery requires rethinking the relationship
among different actors. Previous research has suggested that post-disaster
recovery can benefit from research on collaboration in other areas (Kapucu,
2014). McGuire et al. (2010) add to this point by extending disaster public
services to joint planning across sectors. They argue that the field of disaster
public services can learn lessons about the potential benefits of joint planning
across sectors, stronger training for emergency managers, and more attention
to the development of collaborative relationships across sectors and levels of
government. Van der Wal (2020) makes a similar point in examining the criti-
cal role of public managers during a crisis, particularly because of their
responsibilities for managing hybrid coordination, multiple stakeholders,

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