Postprint of: Keast, RL, Mandell, M, Brown, KA & Woolcock, G 2004, 'Network structures: working differently and changing expectations', Public Administration Review, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 363-371.
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There is a growing need for innovative methods of dealing with complex, social problems. New types of collaborative efforts have emerged as a result of the inability of more traditional bureaucratic hierarchical arrangements such as departmental programs to resolve these problems. Network structures are one such arrangement that is at the forefront of this movement. Although collaboration through network structures establishes an innovative response to dealing with social issues, there remains an expectation that outcomes and processes are based on traditional ways of working. It is necessary for practitioners and policy makers alike to begin to understand the realities of what can be expected from network structures in order to maximize the benefits of these unique mechanisms.