I have done a lot of reading related to governance in political science, organizational studies, and governance studies themselves, so lots I could mention, and happy to help.
The contemporary major reference on how "informal ties" beat "formal ties" is https://www.jstor.org/stable/2780199
If I had to mention just two current scholars on governance, considering what you described before, I would point you to https://www.law.columbia.edu/faculty/charles-f-sabel and https://polisci.berkeley.edu/people/person/christopher-ansell
From Economics, the best stuff in my view comes from Ostrom, Nobel 2009. I would start here https://www.jstor.org/stable/27871226, even if the deep end of the pool.