Research

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).