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Creating Collaborative Advantage
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Creating Collaborative Advantage

Edited by:
  • Chris Huxham - Graduate School of Business, University of Strathclyde, UK, University of Strathclyde, UK


May 1996 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Inter-organizational collaboration is becoming increasingly significant as a means of achieving organizational objectives in turbulent environments. Yet it is not an easy process to implement successfully. Drawing on the work of authors with a high level of relevant experience, this volume provides a thought-provoking and accessible introduction to the theory and practice of `creating collaborative advantage'.

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.

 
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
Chris Huxham
Collaboration and Collaborative Advantage
 
PART TWO: RATIONALES AND CONTEXTS FOR COLLABORATION
Arthur Turovh Himmelman
On the Theory and Practice of Transformational Collaboration
From Social Service to Social Justice

 
Colin Eden
The Stakeholder/Collaborator Strategy Workshop
Barbara Gray
Cross-Sectoral Partners
Collaborative Alliances among Business, Government and Communities

 
 
PART THREE: COLLABORATION IN PRACTICE: KEY ISSUES
Steve Cropper
Collaborative Working and the Issue of Sustainability
David Sink
Five Obstacles to Community-Based Collaboration and Some Thoughts on Overcoming Them
Catherine Barr and Chris Huxham
Involving the Community
Collaboration for Community Development

 
 
PART FOUR: INTERVENTION PROCESSES FOR COLLABORATION
Sandor P Schuman
The Role of Facilitation in Collaborative Groups
Chris Huxham
Group Decision Support for Collaboration
Charles B Finn
Stakeholder Strategies for Positive Collaborative Outcomes
Arnold de Jong
Inter-Organizational Collaboration in the Policy Preparation Process
 
PART FIVE: CLOSURE
Chris Huxham
The Search for Collaborative Advantage

`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

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