Cross-departmental Collaboration within the Government in China : The Case of Shanghai

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-92
Journal / PublicationChina: An International Journal
Issue number1
Online published25 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


Collaborative governance has gained increasing attention among practitioners and public administration scholars worldwide in the past several decades. However, little is known about government officials’ motivation for or willingness to take collaborative action, which work as a mediating variable between a range of other factors and collaboration as an outcome. Grounded in social action theory, this study examines the factors that enhance local officials’ willingness to participate in cross-departmental collaboration. Survey data and in-depth interviews from Shanghai indicate that a collaborative environment and organisational trust can increase officials’ willingness to collaborate with other departments, while the relationship between technological support and bureaucrats’ willingness is not significant. These findings suggest that defining the administrative power and responsibility of individual government departments, improving administrative accountability and building a sound incentive mechanism are crucial to facilitate local government’s cross-departmental collaboration in China.

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