© 2007 Sage Publications 10.1177/0275074006290799
Knowledge and information-sharing networks are emerging in an increasing number of government programs and policy arenas. This article reports the results of an exploratory investigation into ways in which leadership and formal authority shaped the course of four knowledge network initiatives. The study treats authority as both formal and perceived. Leadership is assessed in terms of style, focus, and communication strategies. Analysis of the various authority and leadership patterns found in the case studies generated a set of hypotheses with regard to their influence on success of knowledge networks. Finding s reveal that formal authority, perceived authority, and a variety of leadership behaviors appear to have important influence on the development and performance of public sector knowledge networks. These factors affect the ability of such networks to achieve their substantive goals and the degree to which these efforts provide satisfying and useful networking relationships among the participants.