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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Kansas Center for Research Inc
  • Rachel M Krause
  • (785) 864-3527
Award Date:09/09/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 121,287
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 121,287
  • FY 2020=$121,287
Start Date:09/01/2020
End Date:08/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Assessing the impact of lead agency cross-functional authority on city sustainability outcomes
Federal Award ID Number:2021044
DUNS ID:076248616
Parent DUNS ID:007180078
Program:SoO-Science Of Organizations
Program Officer:
  • Tara Behrend
  • (703) 292-8053

Awardee Location

Street:2385 IRVING HILL RD
Awardee Cong. District:02

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:The University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc.
Street:2385 Irving Hill Road
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

Local governments have traditionally been organized around function, with agencies and departments defined by the services they produce and deliver. Although organizational structures compartmentalized according to specific expertise can produce efficiencies, this fragmentation becomes problematic when governments attempt to address complex problems that transcend multiple units. Urban sustainability is an exemplar of issues which cut across numerous responsibilities traditionally held by distinct units within a single government organization. This research examines the relationship between municipal governments’ administrative arrangements, their policy adoption and implementation choices, and sustainability outcomes. It highlights the role of lead unit cross-functional authority—which we define as the clout that an initiative’s administrative lead has over other relevant units in the city government—and assesses its impact on local sustainability outcomes. In so doing, this research contributes to an evidence-based understanding of how public organizations function in order to enhance their design, management, and overall effectiveness. This work advances convergence research drawing from organizational, policy, sustainable urban systems, and network science to increase the precision and robustness of the Functional Collective Action (FCA) framework. It provides important insight into the determinants of lead agency cross-functional authority—which extant research has highlighted as fundamental but inadequately operationalized—and its influence on policy outcome. Using urban sustainability as our policy lens, we employ a mixed-methods approach to collect and analyze data from focus groups of local government officials, public and private archival repositories, and a nationwide survey to: (a) develop a refined conceptualization and empirical measure of cross-functional authority that captures its various dimensions and mechanisms of influence; (b) develop a comprehensive national dataset of multiple sustainability outcome measures that are comparable across cities; and (c) create the first longitudinal database on local sustainability policies spanning a ten year period, which is often considered the minimum amount of time necessary for nuanced examination of policy implementation and policy change. The collection of data will enable improved testing of local institutional and governance theories and its analysis will facilitate advances in urban management and sustainability outcomes. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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