My research examines interorganizational networks and collaborations, particularly in the nonprofit sector. What motives my research is explaining the social forces that affect the dynamics of organizations.  My overarching questions include: what makes organizational networks emerge?; how do networks benefit or constrain participants?;  and how can networks improve collective outcomes?  Below are my current research projects. You can click on the links for more information.

From Structure to Composition:  What Influences Network Effectiveness?coc23

In this project, I examine a national sample of 246 homeless service networks called Continuums of Care (CoCs). A CoC is a community-wide network of organizations that receives competitively-awarded funds from HUD. While much of social network research assesses the advantages or constraints that the network has on an actor (an actor-level outcome), this project assesses network efficacy (a network-level outcome).  Specifically I examine the influence of network structure, composition, and dynamics, on network performance and effectiveness. The major data for this project come from three sources: an original survey administered by me, HUD reports and CoC applications, and the National Center for Charitable Statistics.

Sponsor: Kresge Foundation’s program on Advancing Knowledge in Human Services Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations

Legitimacy through Networks

Esparza, N., & Jeon, S. 2013. Legitimacy through Networks: Interlocking Boards of Trustees and Organizational Performance, Public Performance & Management Review (in press).