Governing the Crossroads: Interstitial Communities and the Fate of Nonprofit Evaluation

Different strategies exist to exert influence in the context of networked social structures: brokers regulate flows of information; social movements create frames for mobilization; and high-tech clusters form linkages to advance innovation. This paper introduces interstitial communities as a fourth form of networked governance that brings together a composite of such strategies. As collectives of organizations that have access to multiple cultural repertoires, are internally integrated, and have an external reach into adjoining domains, interstitial communities can exert substantial influence over discourses and relational structures. A web-based empirical analysis of the debate on social impact evaluation illustrates how organizations at the interstice between science, management, and civil society reassemble cultural content and facilitate flows of ideas across domain boundaries.