Network learning and trust: A case study of a benchmarking network

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Abstract

When organizations engage in learning from each other through self-governed networks, they may encounter challenges regarding confidentiality. This is particularly true if external accountability needs of the network participants conflict with internal accountability among participants and/or network-level objectives. This study shows how important it is to have specific agreements about not using findings for accountability outside the network. Empirical evidence comes from a longitudinal case study of a benchmarking project involving six independent public sector companies. Based on reciprocal trust among the participants, the promise of confidentiality was made up front and enforced throughout the network collaboration by the participants themselves.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFinancial Accountability & Management
Volume37
Issue number1
ISSN0267-4424
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • accountability
  • benchmarking
  • confidentiality
  • network learning
  • trust

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