Creating Collaborative Advantage
- Chris Huxham - Graduate School of Business, University of Strathclyde, UK, University of Strathclyde, UK
Business & Management (General) | Strategic Management & Business Policy (General)
The first part of the book develops a framework of key dimensions for understanding collaboration. Different perspectives highlight the diversity of rationales and contexts involved, and the range of elements which need to be considered and addressed when embarking on collaborative endeavours.
The second section focuses in more detail on collaboration in practice. It examines the problems that can occur when different `stakeholders', who frequently hold different aims, cultures, procedures, professional languages and power resources, work across organizational boundaries. The last section addresses specifically the processes of acting as a facilitator to collaborative groups. It discusses how and why a third party facilitator role can be helpful, and explores the various processes and techniques that can be used.
`The purpose of this edited collection is to introduce the theory and practice of creating collaborative advantage. The stated aims are to develop a theoretical framework, to examine the detail and problems of collaborative practice and to explore techniques and processes of third party facilitation of collaboration. Although these aims are explicitly addressed in separate sections of the book, a real strengh is that almost all the contibutions look at both theory and practice. A danger with a book in a new and emerging field is that writing about theory and practice turns out to be speculation and prescription. It is, therefore, refreshing to read a composite work in which most of the theoretical constructs have arisen out of reflection on practice which is rigourously examined. It is also clear that the distinctions between theory and practice are not regarded as absolute or unbreachable.... Overall, this book is successful in doing what it sets out to do. Collaboration is presented as complex and problematic rather than the latest in a long line of managerialist prescriptions. Both students and professionals who have an interest in this area will find it helpful in providing examples and theoretical tools for analysis' - Management Learning
`This book is a significant contribution to the debate surrounding partnership working... and one that focuses largely on achieving collaborative advantage "as a means of tackling social issues" (p.16). This is the real strength of the book, the idea that there are lessons to be learned from the theory and practice of partnership working that can deliver collaborative advantage to all sectors.... Overall, Chris Huxham has brought togther a discussion of the theory and practice of collaborative working from an academic conference into a publication that works. In my view this is itself a useful example of the pursuit of synergy to be found in collaboration. There is enough theory and enough practice here to give the edition a wide appeal and it should be read with interest by academics, practitioners and students alike' - Local Government Studies