Boundary-Crossing Strategies: Managing Macro Policies in a Federal Government

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Pedro Cavalcante orcid
Gabriela Spanghero Lotta orcid


Objectives: this paper aims to analyze boundary-crossing strategies, henceforth BCS, a complex and relatively new coordination trend in public administration. To do so, we investigated how three prioritized coordination policies from different sectors were designed and implemented in Brazil. Methods: following a literature review on BCS, the paper employs content analysis of the programs’ legislation and government white papers. To understand how the programs actually functioned, we interviewed key government stakeholders. Results: they suggest that two macro policies incorporated most of the boundary-crossing features in their formal design and, more importantly, implementation processes. However, the degree to which these characteristics are present varies according to the research focus or the interviewee’s position. Conclusions: main findings of BCS strategy are that policy effectiveness and continuity depend on the consensus of different stakeholders about policy goals; the empowerment of leaders; adoption of new coordination instruments; and continuing policy prioritization. Finally, by exploring the adaptation of an international trend to the Brazilian public administration context, the paper shows crucial insights for innovation in terms of policy coordination and implementation.


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Cavalcante, P., & Lotta, G. S. (2021). Boundary-Crossing Strategies: Managing Macro Policies in a Federal Government. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 25(5), e200012.


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