​read the articles for the journal and write a personal review​, 2 pages double spaced, no plagiarism

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read the articles for the journal and write a personal review, 2 pages double spaced, no plagiarism

Community as a Factor in Implementing Interorganizational Partnerships Issues, Constraints, and Adaptations Elizabeth A. Mulroy This article reports findings from a community-based study of collaboration among seven nonprofit human service agencies in a very low-income urban neighborhood. The project, funded by a federal demonstration grant, was developed to prevent child abuse and neglect as an alternative to the existing public child welfare system. Findings suggest that privatization, funding uncertainties, and community-level factors posed external stressors that constrained executives’ ability to collaborate. The article identifies five key stressors, analyzes how each constrained the partnership, and then discusses specific adaptations made by executive leadership in political, technical, and interpersonal areas that facilitated strategic adjustment and realignment in a very complex interorganizational arrangement and set of relationships. Finally, implications are drawn for nonprofit managers, social policy, and nonprofit research. M human service organizations and their frontline program coordinators face increasing pressure from philanthropic and government funders as well as from their own internal strategic plans to collaborate with external actors at both organizational and program levels (Takahashi and Smutny, 2002; Lowndes and Skelcher, 1998; Mulroy, 1997). In a larger frame, Salamon (1999) argues that the third sector in the United States is at a critical juncture and the sustainability of civil society sectors should not be taken for granted. One of Salamon’s recommendations is to use multisector, interorganizational ANAGERS OF NONPROFIT Note: An earlier version of this article was presented at the fourth international conference of the International Society for Third Sector Research in July 2000. The author gratefully acknowledges the support of the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund of the Aspen Institute. NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP, vol. 14, no. 1, Fall 2003 © Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 47 48 MULROY What issues in the community context pose constraints for a community partnership? collaborations as a means through which nonprofit organizations can better respond to societal needs. But this is easier said than done. Studies of collaborations and partnerships point to conditions that may hinder implementation (Provan and Milward, 1995; Mulroy, 1997; Alter and Hague, 1993; Gray, 1989). One recent study suggested that managers must have a wide range of skills: from those of the collaborative entrepreneur capable of bringing the partners together to those of the collaborative manager capable of ensuring interorganizational sustainability— skills rarely found in one person (Takahashi and Smutny, 2002). Although multiple and diverse managerial skills may indeed be necessary to both assemble and manage a complex partnership over time, the purpose of this article is to identify another set of potential constraints—contextual factors at the community level—that boards of directors and managers should carefully consider before they decide to involve their agencies and staff in an interorganizational collaboration. Many such collaborations exist as a result of the implementation of a specific federal or state public policy. The resulting partnerships are intended to take place in a local jurisdiction; yet little may be known about changing conditions, emerging issues, cultural factors, or shifting client demographics in that locale. When redistributive policies are at issue, community characteristics themselves may pose intervening conditions that constrain partnership formation and sustainability (Jansson, 1994). This article poses the following questions: What issues in the community context pose constraints for a community partnership? To what extent is the implementation process constrained? Do participant organizations make adaptations, and if so, with what effect? Because policymakers continue to charge nonprofits with leadership roles for community building through partnerships (Chaskin, Brown, Venkatesh, and Vidal, 2001), we need to know more about the processes of implementing social policies in communities with very low income, the potential conflicts that may exist in the external environment, and solutions others have used to work through and help resolve the presenting problems so that collaboration can result added value. The article presents findings from a study of interorganizational collaboration among seven nonprofit organizations in Boston, Massachusetts. The organizations came together in 1990 under the auspices of a five-year federal demonstration grant with the goal of reducing child abuse and neglect in one of the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods. As with demonstration grants generally, there was a planned termination date. However, the original partners continue to collaborate in an expanded interorganizational relationship that now includes more than twenty-five partner organizations. I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S Implementing Social Policy at the Local Level Classic studies in the implementation of public policies drawn largely from public administration and political science disciplines have identified the problems that government agencies encounter at all levels after a policy becomes law (Bardach, 1980; Pressman and Wildavsky, 1973; Derthick, 1972; Marris and Rein, 1967). Relevance of the local community context as a factor in social policy implementation grew in importance in the past few decades as the impacts of privatization became clearer (Wolch, 1990). That is, the nonprofit operates in an environment that includes policies of disinvestment and privatization, reduced federal funding for domestic social programs, and complexities of the local political environment (Jansson, 1994). The effects of the New Federalism became clearer on the provision of health, mental health, and human services since 1980. A shifting role emerged for social service nonprofit organizations: they began to follow fresh streams of income from the public sector, essentially becoming vendors to the state through contracting and purchase of services (Smith and Lipsky, 1993; Wolch, 1990; Ostrander, 1989). Wolch (1990) contended that public sector contracting with nonprofits created a governmental shadow state that posed multiple dilemmas for nonprofit autonomy: (1) a deepening mutual dependency could reduce voluntary organizations’ ability to be critical of the state; (2) the state might be unwilling to fund organizations whose goals differ from its central purpose; (3) a state requirement for efficiency and accountability could concentrate money in larger organizations and exacerbate maldistribution of voluntary efforts, because poor areas are less apt to have expected community-based expertise; and (4) a conservative political regime could require ideologically correct missions in order to get funds either directly or indirectly. Reports of the long-term impacts of contracting with and purchasing services from community-based organizations (CBOs) are beginning to come in, and benefits are accruing to large nonprofit organizations and newer organizations started by recent social movements such as those concerning AIDS and HIV (Gibelman, 1998; Kramer, 1994). Fabricant and Fischer (2002, p. 81), however, identified seven dilemmas for community-oriented nonprofits under contracting: “it alters power relations, makes heavy accountability demands, changes the practices of the social service workplace, increases the costs of nonprofits, displaces goals, obscures political processes, and diminishes social action and community building.” Their main point is that purchase of services and contracting with the public sector takes the community-based nonprofit away from its core focus on community building, social action, and collaborative practice, bringing it instead toward bureaucracy and conformity. This happened at a time when Putnam (2000) and others argued for the 49 50 MULROY The federal funders wanted the program to redirect child maltreatment services to prevention services and away from the existing largescale public bureaucracies strengthening of community-building organizations like settlement houses to balance the decline of civil life and social cohesiveness (Fabricant and Fischer, 2002). Although nonprofit organizational theorists have traditionally focused on internal processes of single nonprofit organizations (Herman and Renz, 1998), Rogers and Whetton (1982) argued for multilevel models of analysis that would examine external interorganizational coordination and partnership formation. They called for studies that would include demographics of larger communities, service networks, and interpersonal linkages. Rogers and Whetton pointed out that very little attention had been given to the community context of interorganizational coordination. Partnership formation in the contracting culture at the community level requires further examination. This article attempts to help fill that gap. The Case: The Demonstration Grant to Prevent Child Abuse Selected nonprofit organizations received a federal demonstration grant to develop a model program to prevent child abuse and neglect in Boston, Massachusetts. The federal funders wanted the program to redirect child maltreatment services to prevention services and away from the existing large-scale public bureaucracies that handled child welfare, which were underperforming and failing to adequately protect children (Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect [ABCAN], 1991). The program, called Dorchester CARES (Coordination, Advocacy, Resources, Education Services), developed a complex neighborhood service network of complementary programs (see Mulroy, 1997; Mulroy and Shay, 1997; Mulroy and Shay, 1998). The original participating agencies were all nonprofits, but they were diverse in age, scope, and size. They included the central office of a federation of settlement houses and three of its affiliates; a large, traditional family service agency established in the late 1890s; a neighborhood health center that did outreach for a large Catholic hospital; and a statewide child abuse prevention and advocacy organization. The nonprofits ranged in size from the federation’s central office, with an annual budget of $11.3 million, to a small settlement house, with a $300,000 budget. Five of the agencies had a local neighborhood focus, with community-resident boards of directors; two had regional scopes, areawide boards of directors, and national affiliations. Nonetheless, all the agencies shared values and a common purpose in their mission statements: to enhance the well-being of children and families (Mulroy and Shay, 1998). The demonstration project was institutionalized into one targeted very low-income neighborhood during the five-year funding cycle, and an adapted model was replicated in two other targeted very lowincome neighborhoods. All sites continue to serve their respective constituencies seven years after the demonstration phase ended. I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S The Study Findings are based on a twenty-seven-month field study that used direct observation (Glazer and Strauss, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 1990) to study the operational processes and structure. Fifty-six in-depth personal interviews were conducted, and forty-eight meetings were observed during the study period. To get a balance of perspectives, researchers conducted interviews at all seven collaborating agencies, including with executive directors, project staff, key informant frontline workers (those who dealt face-to-face with clients), and highly involved resident consumers. They reviewed five years of agency annual reports from the seven participating agencies, as well as all of the demonstration project’s quarterly reports to the federal funder, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, they completed a review of project public relations materials, U.S. census documents, empirical research on child maltreatment, meeting agendas, meeting summaries, and interorganizational communications. Data were collected and analyzed in three phases consistent with grounded theory techniques (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). Sampling narrowed in the second and third phases. Meetings and interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed. Confirmability of findings were tested through triangulation and informant feedback (Miles and Huberman, 1994). Five key factors, called here external stressors, emerged from the community context that constrained partnership formation and sustainability. The next section will describe each of the stressors and explain their sources. The following section will examine how the CARES partnership experienced the constraints in terms of process and structure. Then the article will analyze systems adaptations to explain how participants and their respective organizations developed the interpersonal and organizational capacity to make timely adaptations to the new system, in a way that facilitated and sustained collaborative activity in the community (see Figure 1). The article will then draw implications for nonprofit management, social policy, and research. External Stressors Researchers found five external factors to be problematic for partnership formation and sustainability: uncertainty of funding streams, the contracting and purchase-of-service culture, conflicting policies of public child welfare, characteristics of federal demonstration grant requirements, and shifting client demographics and neighborhood needs. Uncertain Funding Streams Project founders used grant funds primarily for administrative infrastructure to get the project organized and operationalized; they had to seek out multiple new funding streams to support each of the emerging programs. This plan succeeded in getting the project off 51 Constraints on Collaboration • Competition for scarce resources • Competition for recognition • Outcome uncertainties • Attaining local legitimacy • Meaning of knowledge and expertise: professional vs. community Issues • Funding uncertainties • Public sector contracting and purchase of services • Conflicting public–child welfare policies • Federal demonstration requirements • Shifting neighborhood conditions and changing demographics Interpersonal • Environment of tolerance • Commitment to street-level teamwork Technical • Autonomy for frontline teams • Multidirectional communication • External outcome evaluation Political • Solution reframed • Decision rules: how to share turf System Adaptations Figure 1. The Community Context of Interorganizational Collaboration: A Child Abuse Prevention Demonstration Project I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S the ground quickly but posed a number of managerial and operational dilemmas. First, all agency executive directors were already under pressure at their own agencies because of the turbulent funding environment citywide (Gummer, 1990) caused by the decline of federal social spending during the 1980s. Tensions were high as directors juggled the effects of downsizing—program cutbacks, layoffs, mergers, and acquisitions at their own agencies—while simultaneously coming to the CARES partnership in hopes of getting new resources. Second, as organizations obtained multiple sources of funding for programs and began implementation, program managers experienced a nonalignment among the funding sources. Each funding source (public and philanthropic) had its own short time line, regulations, reporting and evaluation requirements, and expected outcomes. As each of these funding streams ran dry or was cut back by legislative action, so were the staff positions and activities that the grants funded. This caused constant funding uncertainty that resulted in (1) an inability to plan programs beyond one year, (2) an unevenness in delivering services that required worker continuity and timesensitive interventions, (3) a product for the local community that deviated from what agencies had anticipated in the original grant proposal, and (4) a need for constant grant writing to sustain the implementation of frontline programs. Public Sector Contracting and Purchase of Services The statewide contracting and purchase-of-services culture in the child welfare domain became a stress point between the large family service agency partner and the smaller CBOs, increasing tension among executive partners. Prior to formation of the CARES partnership, the effects of fiscal cutbacks helped some of the city’s large child and family agencies develop close vendor relationships with the state Department of Social Services (DSS), the public child welfare agency, through the purchase-of-services system. Nonprofits saw DSS as a pass-though for distribution of large amounts of federal dollars earmarked for child welfare purposes; it was the major source of funding for programs related to children and families in the state. In an environment of scarce resources, virtually all nonprofit social agencies in the state, irrespective of technology or purpose, sought these funds. DSS’s privatization of much of its child protective services investigation, monitoring, and treatment functions had two effects. First, nonprofits whose child welfare service philosophies were compatible with the state’s received large grants and contracts (one was an eighteen-month contract worth $1.2 million), whereas small CBOs— such as settlement houses, which did not have the same service philosophy but still served children and families through alternative, preventive programs—received smaller service grants such as provision for child care. Second, in the tight fiscal environment, receiving any type of contract from the state to perform a public purpose 53 Tensions were high as directors juggled the effects of downsizing— program cutbacks, layoffs, mergers, and acquisitions at their own agencies—. . . [with] coming to the CARES partnership 54 MULROY served to increase the dependence of both types of nonprofits on the state. However, large child and family agencies that contracted to perform the state’s child welfare functions became aligned with the principles and practices of the child protective services status quo. As one agency director said, “We know what the state wants. They [the CARES staff] don’t.” Conflicting Policies of Public Child Welfare The partnership was politically constrained from its inception. In effect, it was based on a clash of public mandates The partnership was politically constrained from its inception. In effect, it was based on a clash of public mandates. The state mandated its public child welfare system, for example, to implement existing federal and state policies and procedures related to child welfare—a system long criticized as a failure (ABCAN, 1991). Through contracting the state purchased the services of child and family nonprofit organizations to help it meet those mandates. In response to acknowledged failures in the system, CARES and other national demonstration projects were federally mandated to create new, innovative alternatives. Thus, CARES introduced a community-based prevention alternative as the state’s child welfare agencies and vendor nonprofit organizations continued to operate in the traditional system. The CARES mandate challenged the intervention philosophy of the status quo and threatened middle managers and social workers at DSS and those in the vendor nonprofit organizations. Furthermore, the CARES partnership was a new prevention initiative, with a goal of strengthening both neighborhoods and families to prevent child abuse referrals from reaching the state in the first place. In effect, the paradigm was different, pitting the partnership’s community-based preventive approach against the public sector’s traditional paradigm of child welfare, which stressed intervention. Federal Demonstration Requirements and Community Building The demonstration model itself posed additional challenges in time frame, structure, organizational development, and process. The five-year time line speeded up community-building activities that usually move at the community’s pace so that resident acceptance and civic participation remain priorities. The inherent top-down structure of a federal demonstration project injected the CARES initiative directly into the community, rather than leaving the lead time to observe local protocol and allow residents to invite the agencies in (Mulroy and Lauber, 2002; Ife, 1996). Changing Client Demographics and Neighborhood Needs Families participating in community-based activities in the Boston neighborhood that CARES served presented multiple unmet needs in addition to very low incomes and high incidence of child abuse I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S 55 and neglect: substance abuse, homelessness, and mental illness—all requiring a range of service responses. From 1960 to 1990, U.S. census data confirmed that the target geographic area experienced new waves of immigration and white flight that helped to transform the demographics of the community from a white to a multiethnic, multicultural, and multilingual population. By 1990 only 21 percent of area residents were white; 51 percent African American; and 20 percent Hispanic. Fifty-one percent of all families were headed by a single parent. Moreover, problems of substance abuse, crime, infant mortality, depression, and increasing violence pervaded the area (Earls, McGuire, and Shay, 1994). Constraints on the Collaboration The confluence of these external stressors in the first few years of operation constrained the new CARES partnership in several ways (see Figure 1). It increased competition among the seven member agencies for contracts and grants from DSS and other potential donors, and it increased competition for recognition in the media. It also raised concerns about whether CARES could attain measurable outcomes within the confines of a five-year time-limited project as well as for legitimate community-based partner agencies. Finally, it articulated a clash between human services professionals and community-based leaders and workers who argued about employee competencies necessary to do community work. Competition for Scarce Resources Relationship with the State. The decade-long competition for scarce social program funds, compounded by the competition that the privatization of social services generated, made six of the seven agency partners wary of the potential imbalance of power wielded by the seventh, the large family service agency. The key issue was the agency’s close and favorable relationship with the state. Small community-based nonprofits and the small sponsoring advocacy agency did not have this tight link with the state. As Smith and Lipsky (1993) and Wolch (1990) predicted, the small agencies feared domination by the large family service agency because of its alignment with DSS as an efficient service contractor that shared the state’s philosophy favoring the intervention paradigm. In stark contrast the role of the advocacy agency was to perform a watchdog, monitoring function of DSS itself and typically considered itself successful when the relationship with the state was adversarial. The advocacy agency publicly advocated for systemic changes in child welfare through the courts, in the state legislature, and in the U.S. Congress as necessary. Loss of Autonomy. None of the seven partner agencies, including the family service agency, wanted to diminish any autonomy it had, and early stages of the collaborative process offered undefined benefits. But external public-funding policies, procedures, and practices offered disincentives. First, although the state awarded incentive Competition for scarce social program funds . . . made six of the seven agency partners wary of the potential imbalance of power 56 MULROY points to proposals from interorganizational collaborations, the dollar amount was the same whether one agency or seven applied. Therefore, the family service agency had little incentive to participate in collaborative grant proposals because it could instead receive the whole DSS grant itself. Second, grants and contracts were increasingly targeted to lowincome geographic communities rather than to programs in nonprofit organizations. CBOs believed that when neighborhood-based agencies received funding in one round, the state passed over them in future rounds so that it could disperse its resources equitably. Managers of CBOs perceived that agencies without a local neighborhood focus—for example, large, region-serving family service agencies—appeared to receive more state funds because they developed a portable model of care they could bring into any community as an outreach service. The outreach approach could ultimately benefit a wide range of residents in need, but the CBOs wanted to strengthen—not weaken—their own model of family support services, formed on the bedrock of commitment to a particular low-income community and its families. Third, those without close ties to the state believed that those with close ties cut side deals with the large state funding agencies that served to increase their power and influence with public funders. In sum, the struggle to retain agency autonomy and power in this partnership threatened the culture of trust that was necessary to make decisions collaboratively, because collaboration required giving up some autonomy in order to share power. This supports Wolch’s prediction (1990) of the importance of autonomy for the community-based agency and the reasons that privatization and contracting can threaten that autonomy. Competition for Public Recognition: A Threat to Trust Agency executives expected public recognition for their efforts, and in an instance when this did not happen, problems of trust developed. Participation in the partnership involved moderate to high investment of time by agency executives and a commitment to use their agency resources. In return, executives and their boards wanted equal public recognition as a reward for these investments (Mulroy and Shay, 1998). One article in the city’s largest newspaper gave print coverage to some executives and omitted the names of some participating agencies. CARES’s press release had provided accurate information, but the newspaper edited the story. This created a strain in relations, with those whose names and agencies the newspaper did not name suspecting others of deliberate omission. Outcome Uncertainty in a Short-Term Demonstration Project Once the project became operational in the target neighborhood, managers and program staff came to see that neighborhood conditions of I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S increasing crime and violence and increasing numbers of families with multiple unmet needs posed methodological problems in the measurement of outcomes. How could they measure the success of the prevention approach in the project’s short term when positive neighborhood change and family strengthening required development of complex new measurement instruments and longitudinal assessment? Agencies had neither the organizational capacity, technical skills, nor budget allocated to do this in-house; yet a thorough evaluation of what participants believed to be a successful demonstration was considered very important. This constraint posed the need for external evaluation if the agencies could find the needed resources. Agency Acceptance and Legitimacy in the Neighborhood Evidence suggests that the collaboration was constrained by each partner agency’s relationship to the targeted low-income neighborhood as either an insider or outsider. Wolch (1990) defines an insider agency as one that residents perceive to be based in the community and physically located in the neighborhood, with a consistent track record of service and accountability to area residents. An outsider agency is one whose primary offices are located outside the neighborhood and not physically located in the target community even though it offers programs in the community through storefront locations. Residents conferred legitimacy on the three settlement houses as insider agencies and perceived the family service agency and the advocacy agency as outsiders from downtown that had to earn acceptance over time. The top-down nature of the demonstration structure exacerbated this constraint. The development of a community-based interorganizational collaboration for the purpose of strengthening a specific neighborhood and its resident families evolves over time, a serious challenge to the CARES demonstration status. This finding supports Vosburgh and Perlmutter’s work (1984) that demonstrations pose their own constraints because of their shortened time frames and characteristics. The Meaning of Knowledge and Expertise The multiple unmet needs of neighborhood residents brought a demand for multiple types of services. Resident needs and preferences expanded the scope of activities to include basic needs for food, clothing, child care, substance abuse treatment, housing, education (including English as a second language), health, and socialization. Some of these activities were beyond the scope of a family support approach to prevent child abuse and neglect. Some services were directed toward community building and others toward strengthening and counseling individual families. This raised the question of what body of knowledge was required to understand these problems and who was qualified to deliver services in the community in the way the community wanted to receive them. 57 Residents conferred legitimacy on the three settlement houses as insider agencies and perceived the family service agency and the advocacy agency as outsiders from downtown 58 MULROY This negotiated adaptation of focus confirmed that all agencies, despite their differences, belonged in the partnership as equals Neighborhood residents and CBO staff saw these experts as disrespectful of very poor consumers and local paraprofessionals who had little or no professional training. Believing that downtown experts considered them unknowledgeable and unskilled, they felt undervalued in the community-building process. This created a tension between those with professional and academic knowledge—such as social workers with M.S.W. degrees—and local residents and community workers with community-derived knowledge or the expertise of living and surviving in a very low-income neighborhood. The weight of these constraints could have unraveled a collaboration, but participants made frequent and strategic adaptations to keep CARES’s work going. Three Types of System Adaptations Adaptations occurred as clusters of political, technical, and interpersonal decisions and behaviors strategically adjusted and realigned a very complex structure and set of relationships (see Figure 1). Political Adaptations Reframe the Core Focus. Steering committee executives reframed the core focus by agreeing that neighborhood conditions and resident demand were of such complexity and diversity that no single agency could solve the problems alone. This reconceptualization had two effects. First, it reconfigured services into the public health model of three levels of service: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary and secondary prevention-oriented activities such as the food pantry, clothing exchange, parent-education classes, peer-support mentoring group, and home-health visiting provided by CBOs were appropriately augmented by tertiary interventions for home-based substance abuse treatment and mental health services provided by the outsider agency as an outreach program. Next, this negotiated adaptation of focus confirmed that all agencies, despite their differences, belonged in the partnership as equals. They reiterated a commitment to the project’s vision. All seven agencies shared similar long-term goals for improving the lives of children and families. Decide How to Share the Turf. Even though the agencies never fully resolved their competition for scarce funding, the partner agencies invented new administrative procedures midpoint in the fiveyear demonstration grant cycle that helped the agencies cope with conflict and moved organizational development forward. • Draft a memorandum of agreement. The executive partners drafted and signed a memo as a negotiated compromise to share rewards. The memo established a common grant-proposal form and decision rules stating that if one agency alone applied for and received funding that the partnership wanted to apply for jointly, that agency would share ownership of the product with all of the partner agencies. I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S In effect, benefits that accrued to any single agency in the partnership would accrue to all. • Tolerate cooling off. During times of interagency conflict, the partners understood and accepted the absence of an executive director at a mandatory steering committee meeting as a cooling-off respite as long as the executive sent an alternate delegate who was vested with power and authority by the board of directors of the sending agency to make executive decisions. This procedural flexibility and interpersonal tolerance permitted all executives to be represented while the steering committee met to deliberate and solve problems. • Agree to disagree. When executives agreed that it was acceptable to disagree in a collaboration, clearer patterns of communication emerged that allowed executives to talk out conflicts. • Build social relationships. Relationships were strengthened and trust improved when CARES held off-site retreats and social occasions to forge social bonds among executives on the steering committee and CARES staff. • Succeed at one initial community activity. One initial community activity—a family cooperative where food, clothing, and child care could be exchanged for volunteer work by residents—became the focus for all participants, and all the agencies shared and celebrated its success at the service level. All partner agency executives then came to believe that no single agency could do it all. Technical Adaptations While steering committee members were trying to find a balance in power relations, frontline workers from each of the partner agencies, aware of funding tensions at the administrative level, adapted by focusing on operations and the complexity of street-level program development. Nurses, a psychologist, paraprofessionals, and educators found common bonds that transcended agency conflicts by staying focused on community issues, helping families, and jointly building the neighborhood service network. As one worker said, “We leave politics at the office.” Autonomy for Frontline Teams. The service network was decentralized so that workers from each of the agencies had the autonomy and authority to innovate. They organized themselves into five interdisciplinary and interorganizational teams of representatives from each program in the network: the Family Cooperative, the Mentoring Program, Home Health Visitor Program, the Family Nurturing Program, and the Substance Abuse Treatment Program. Then they developed an overarching prevention team of representatives from each program in the network. Frontline workers themselves designed this organizational structure in partnership with CARES administrative staff and steering committee executives. It brought frontline workers closer together, with these effects: the service network operated efficiently; worker authority increased; families were better served; and horizontal linkages among neighborhood institutions became stronger. A series of agency cross-trainings evolved as part of 59 The service network operated efficiently; worker authority increased; families were better served; and horizontal linkages among neighborhood institutions became stronger 60 MULROY a community-planning process intended to increase executive and worker awareness of the resources available at all partner agencies. Multidirectional Communication. Success of the interorganizational, community-based programs solidified executive commitment to the partnership. CARES institutionalized patterns of bottom-up communication: monthly steering committee meetings of partner executives were held in the community and rotated monthly to each service site; attendance was inclusive, with all CARES staff and prevention team members invited and expected to participate. External Outcome Evaluation. In response to the evaluation constraint, the project manager developed relationships with university-based researchers who agreed to design and implement a longitudinal outcome evaluation. A baseline study was completed; new neighborhood-level instruments were designed; and a four-wave quantitative study was planned with the goal of publishing preliminary results (Earls, McGuire, and Shay, 1994). Interpersonal Adaptations Learn Tolerance and Respect Diversity. Collaboration required tolerance for different points of view and management styles. Executives and frontline staff learned how to create an environment of tolerance in which everyone could appreciate and use different perspectives and individual capabilities (Mulroy and Shay, 1998). This breakthrough unfolded over time as participants increased their exposure to cultural differences in the community, as well as to each other’s agencies, and devoted time to working through their own policy and management issues. Commitment to Street-Level Teamwork. The complexity of building a community-based service network from scratch required a commitment to work cooperatively in teams at both the executive and program levels. Street-level teamwork was facilitated by executives’ self-awareness, a nonjudgmental attitude, and the personal ability to adapt. For example, executives held their meetings in settlement houses and attended CARES events and celebrations, where they mingled with residents and frontline staff. Implications This project provides several lessons for nonprofit managers considering involvement in similar collaborations, as well as for policymakers and nonprofit researchers. Nonprofit Managers The three key lessons for managers are the following: develop and build a network of external relations; prepare to invest in a complex and difficult process; and expect to engage in street-level management. I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S • External relations. Partners should develop a wide lens external to the agency and invest in building strong relationships with nonprofit organizations in the geographic area, in similar domains, and with their executive leadership. They should identify local, regional, state, and federal links to resources in a specific geographic community: the impacts of rapidly changing social policy in the agency’s domain, the changing demography of community and resident needs, the effects of shifts in practice such as privatization on area nonprofits and altered sector relations with private and public sector competitors and allies. • Complex, lengthy process. Agencies should commit to a longterm relationship with partner agencies and expect the process to be difficult. Executives at CARES agencies facilitated collaboration when they stayed the course through periods of conflict. Problems emerged that they could not have anticipated at the outset. Executives made decisions midcourse that helped adapt the system and move interorganizational development forward. This improved the service network and resulted in outcomes that gave executives the benefits and rewards they originally sought from their investment of time and resources. • Street-level management. For a community-based service network to be successful, executive leadership must do two things: spend time working in the target community face-to-face with residents; and support, empower, and learn from community workers. Communitybased endeavors are intended to strengthen local neighborhoods and residents (Fabricant and Fisher, 2002). Frontline workers in this decentralized partnership had the bottom-up perspective: the local knowledge derived from immersion in the neighborhood. They were not only serving clients but were key partners in building and implementing collaborative alliances in chaotic urban neighborhoods. When executives provided institutional supports and autonomy, frontline workers created many of the adaptations that led to innovation and system change. For example, frontline workers from the home-based substance abuse program affiliated with the large family service agency learned important lessons in the reality of program implementation that they were able to transfer to other participants. Private consultants in a downtown high-rise prepared an elegantly written grant proposal to address substance abuse, but the resulting program could not meet its own goals and objectives when implemented in the distressed conditions of urban poverty. Workers could not untangle the treatment of one client’s drug abuse from her substandard housing, depression, or the violence and fears associated with her young sons’ gang affiliations. A worker reported, “This one case took us nine months. It was like peeling away the layers of an onion.” Workers scaled back their expectations for program outcomes and revised their criteria for client success. They came to appreciate that despite their professional knowledge, training, and commitment, they could not make a person sober. A parent 61 [Frontline workers] were not only serving clients but were key partners in building and implementing collaborative alliances in chaotic urban neighborhoods 62 MULROY could only make herself sober within the limitations of her own social and physical environment. These frontline workers believed their approach of immersing their work in the community was a genuine systemic reform. They had little interest in the political dynamics taking place at the administrative level. As one frontline worker said, “Administrators need to come down here and get their hands dirty. They’d get a kick of reality.” Social Policy The executive partners created a residentapproved service network in a very low-income neighborhood that would not otherwise have had these resources The political expectations of reforming the child welfare system in this five-year demonstration grant project were unrealistic. Despite the many constraints it posed, the demonstration approach also provided many benefits. First, when the federal government takes responsibility for setting the direction of social policy and tests out new thinking as a demonstration, it adds local value. Both the traditional intervention approach of public child welfare agencies and their vendors and the community-based prevention approach of CARES emanated from federal policy-level initiatives (ABCAN, 1991). These initiatives demonstrate an evolution in philosophy regarding the social care and protection of vulnerable children and a directional change in federal responsibility. Methods of implementing reforms in both child welfare and public welfare are shifting toward communitybased solutions developed by multisector partnerships and collaborations (Prince and Austin, 2001; Carnochan and Austin, 2001). But community care and the protection of children are only as good as the capacity of the organizational infrastructure in each neighborhood and the commitment, skills, and leadership of community-based executives and their community workers. For example, the CARES demonstration added value to the community by enabling a new collaboration of agencies to form; the executive partners created a resident-approved service network in a very low-income neighborhood that would not otherwise have had these resources. An increasingly dense network of interpersonal and interorganizational relationships developed over time; this facilitated collaborative activity, expanded the model to other neighborhoods in the city, and in the long term produced—and continues to produce—more supportive networks for residents, the social capital needed to assist them in times of family stress and turmoil. Second, policymakers and philanthropic funders should renew funding for social movement organizations and communityorganizing activities. Privatization, the purchase of services, and contracting have increasingly shifted funding streams to formal, categorical programs and away from community-building organizations and informal prevention programs associated with social change (Fabricant and Fisher, 2002). However, findings here suggest that investment in building community was key to incremental improvements in child welfare reform. With the demonstration grant, workers from the outsider child and family agency conducted a substance I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S abuse program in the community; one effect was that the intensity and embeddedness of that community work experience generated a strong commitment to the neighborhood and its residents as the locus of change to reduce child abuse and neglect. The frontline workers’ allegiance shifted: they chose to remain in the target neighborhood after the demonstration grant ended, working in social movement programs and CBOs they started themselves. They profess a long-term commitment to the neighborhood and to best practices derived not from traditional social services delivered in bureaucratic social agencies but to small grass-roots social action organizations committed to community building and empowerment goals. Such agencies cannot compete on an equal basis with the large, endowed traditional agencies that efficiently manage multiple categorical programs. Yet CBOs may possess just the right expertise to be valuable resources for future community building if funders will invest in them. Nonprofit Research Community-based research is needed to help untangle the complex relationships among diverse nonprofit agencies in low-income communities in order to better understand both the role of nonprofit organizations in building social capital and the factors that facilitate and hinder nonprofits as they seek to participate in multisector collaborations. More field studies are needed to provide bottom-up learning. Such findings will help managers create programs that local residents need most and provide direction for innovation with new organizational configurations such as interorganizational networks in which agencies have learned to share risks and rewards. Communitybased research may help scholars of the nonprofit sector better understand the messy social and political environments in which CBOs attempt to operate (Gummer, 1990). Finally, scholars of the nonprofit sector can make valuable contributions to the development of interorganizational theory, an area currently defined largely by scholars of the public and for-profit sectors. ELIZABETH A. MULROY is an associate professor of human services management and community planning at the School of Social Work, University of Maryland-Baltimore. References Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect. Creating Caring Communities: Blueprint for an Effective Federal Policy on Child Abuse and Neglect. Second Report. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1991. Alter, K., and Hage, J. Organizations Working Together. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1993. 63 64 MULROY Bardach, E. The Implementation Game: What Happens After a Bill Becomes a Law. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1980. Carnochan, S., and Austin, M. “Implementing Welfare Reform and Guiding Organizational Change.” Administration in Social Work, 2001, 26 (1), 61–77. Chaskin, R., Brown, P., Venkatesh, S., and Vidal, A. Building Community Capacity. New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 2001. Clinton, B. Empowerment: A New Covenant with America’s Communities. Washington, D.C.: HUD Office of Policy Development and Research, 1995. Derthick, M. New Towns In-Town. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute, 1972. Earls, F., McGuire, J., and Shay, S. “Evaluating a Community Intervention to Reduce the Risk of Child Abuse: Methodological Strategies in Conducting Neighborhood Surveys.” Child Abuse and Neglect, 1994, 18 (5), 473–485. Fabricant, M., and Fischer, R. Settlement Houses Under Siege. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. Ferris, J. “The Double-Edged Sword of Social Service Contracting: Public Accountability Versus Nonprofit Autonomy.” Nonprofit Management and Leadership, 1993, 3 (4), 363–376. Gibelman, M., and Demone, H. “The Privatization of Human Services.” Policy and Practice Issues, 1998. Glazer, B., and Strauss, A. The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Chicago: Aldine, 1967. Gray, B. Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multi-Party Problems. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989. Gummer, B. The Politics of Social Administration. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Herman, R., and Renz, D. “Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness: Contrasts Between Especially Effective and Less Effective Organizations.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 1998, 9 (1). Ife, J. Community Development. Melbourne, Australia: Longman, 1996. Jansson, B. The Reluctant Welfare State. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1994. Kramer, R. “Voluntary Agencies and the Contract Culture: Dream or Nightmare?” Social Service Review, 1994, 68 (1), 33–60. Kretzmann, J., and McKnight, J. Building Communities from the Inside Out. Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research, 1993. Lowndes, V., and Skelcher, C. “The Dynamics of MultiOrganizational Partnerships: An Analysis of Changing Modes of Governance.” Public Administration, 1998, 76, 313–333. Marris, P., and Rein, M. The Dilemmas of Social Reform. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967. I M P L E M E N T I N G I N T E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N A L PA RT N E R S H I P S Miles, M., and Huberman, M. Qualitative Data Analysis. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1994. Mulroy, E. “Building the Neighborhood Network: Interorganizational Collaboration to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.” Social Work, 1997, 42 (3), 255–265. Mulroy, E., and Lauber, H. “Community Building in Hard Times: A Post-Welfare View from the Streets.” Journal of Community Practice, 2002, 10 (1), 1–16. Mulroy, E., and Shay, S. “Nonprofit Organizations and Innovation: Model of Neighborhood-Based Collaboration to Prevent Child Maltreatment.” Social Work, 1997, 42 (5), 515–526. Mulroy, E., and Shay, S. “Motivation and Reward in Nonprofit Interorganizational Collaboration in Low Income Neighborhoods.” Administration in Social Work, 1998, 22 (4), 1–18. Naparstek, A., and Dooley, D. “Countering Urban Disinvestment Through Community-Building Initiatives.” Social Work, 1997, 42 (5), 506–514. Ostrander, S. “Private Social Services: Obstacles to the Welfare State?” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 1989, 18 (1), 25–45. Pressman, J., and Wildavsky, A. Implementation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973. Prince, J., and Austin, M. “Innovative Programs and Practices Emerging from the Implementation of Welfare Reform: A Cross-Case Analysis.” Journal of Community Practice, 2001, 9 (3), 1–14. Provan, K. G., and Milward, H. B. “A Preliminary Theory of Interorganizational Network Effectiveness: A Comparative Study of Four Community Mental Health Systems.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 1995, 40 (1), 1–33. Putnam, B. Bowling Alone. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. Rogers, D. L., and Whetton, D. A. Interorganizational Coordination, Theory, Research and Implementation. Ames: Iowa State University Press. Salamon, L. M. “The Nonprofit Sector at a Crossroads: The Case of America.” Voluntas, 1999, 10 (1), 5–23. Smale, G. “The Nature of Innovation and Community-Based Practice.” In E. Martinez-Brawley and S. A. Deleven (eds.), Transferring Technology in the Personal Social Services. Washington, D.C.: NASW Press, 1993. Smith, S., and Lipsky, M. Nonprofits for Hire: The Welfare State in the Age of Contracting. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1993. Strauss, A., and Corbin, J. Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 1990. Takahashi, L., and Smutny, G. “Collaborative Windows and Organizational Governance: Exploring the Formation and Demise of 65 66 MULROY Social Service Partnerships.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 2002, 31 (2), 165–185. Vosburgh, W., and Perlmutter, F. “The Demonstration Project: Politics amid Professionalism.” In F. Perlmutter (ed.), Human Services at Risk. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1984. Wolch, J. The Shadow State. New York: Foundation Center, 1990.
Please read the articles by McKnight (handout), Obama (coursepack) and Homan (coursepack). Further reading on the issue: Mullett (link), Mulroy (link). Questions for the journal: 1. Is it possible to 'develop' a community? 2. Why do we need to think about community development in contemporary society? 3. Are there alternatives to community development? 4. What is the relationship between community development and the crisis in the nonprofit sector? 5. How do the community development strategies used by Obama in Chicago in the 1980's differ from those suggested by other contemporary writers? 6. How can the challenges of community cooperation identified by Mulroy and Mullett be addressed? 7. What is the meaning of community as it relates to community development? 8. How does community development differ from creating a social movement
Action Research Volume 2(2): 145–165 Copyright© 2004 SAGE Publications London, Thousand Oaks CA, New Delhi www.sagepublications.com DOI: 10.1177/1476750304043728 ARTICLE Being, becoming and belonging Getting to ambassadorship, a new metaphor for living and collaborating in the community Jennifer Mullett Centre for Community Health Promotion Research Karen Jung Centre for Community Health Promotion Research Marcia Hills Centre for Community Health Promotion Research ABSTRACT KEY WORDS • action research • ambassadorship • collaboration • collective life • community • non-profits For non-profit social agencies, new contract funding structures have increased their vulnerability. Collaboration is a strategy for dealing with reductions in the availability of funding and the pressures to ‘do more with less’ but there are few illustrations of how this might be achieved. The main body of literature devoted to creating models for collaboration was developed in the world of the new public administration and market models. Many of the less formal approaches consist of checklists and mock contracts that strive to account for variables that may affect collaborations. While valuable for focussing attention on key aspects, these approaches assume a static set of factors that predict successful collaborations. In this project, an alternative to these types of functional or instrumental methods of partnership development was created through a particular type of action research known as co-operative inquiry. Through the iterative stages of reflection and action, a new conceptualization of collaboration evolved and a subsequent model developed. The model is based on criteria derived from the experiences of the community members and accounts for the dialectical relationship of the individual agency and the collective non-profit sector. Through the process of the research, a transformation in thinking, purpose and practice occurred, resulting in a new metaphor for living and working in the community. 145 146 • Action Research 2(2) Introduction In order to survive changes in government funding, members of community agencies wanted to unite the non-profit sector and profile what it contributes to the community. To do this meant overcoming historically negative dynamics and discovering ways to collaborate. In the project to be described, we used the methodology of co-operative inquiry to develop a model of collaboration. Through the process of the research our thinking about collaboration was transformed. In this article we will describe our approach to the inquiry, the first stages of discovery from interviews and community forums of what we called the key elements of collaboration, our discussions of these key elements with other community agencies, how we examined these concepts in practice, and our subsequent discussions to reconceptualize our approach to account for internal and external processes. Our final model is one that incorporates the dialectic of the individual and the collective and depicts collaboration as a developmental process that has as its goal a collective response to social issues. In the beginning, we aspired to a collaborative community; in the end, we aspired to the kind of community described by McKnight in the following quote: We are seeking nothing less than . . . A collective life . . . A powerful life that gains its joy from the creativity and connectedness that comes when we join in association to create an inclusive world. (1996, p. 123) The issue Staff and volunteers of 51 non-profit health and social agencies in Victoria, British Columbia, created a network to deal with the issue of contracted funding. While the government had increased the contracts with the non-profit agencies, the agencies’ growing dependence on public funding rendered them vulnerable to the availability of contract dollars (McMurty, Netting & Kettner, 1990). More importantly, the funding structures created competitive structures within the community and antagonism between agencies that had previously worked together in harmony. Functionally, the current competitive funding structures have created what Kohn (1986) calls ‘MEGA’, mutually exclusive goal attainment. One agency can only succeed in securing funding if another does not; energy is thus unwittingly devoted to making others lose (Kohn, 1986). This undermines the function of non-profit agencies and takes them away from their raison d’etre, to provide support through inter-agency connections. Instead, scarce resources are devoted to other activities to ensure the viability of the agency. While major funders are motivated by a desire for greater rationalization of delivery systems and efficiency, clients are more interested in the integration of the various agencies Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 147 they deal with (Shafritz, 1998). More importantly, competitive structures pose a greater threat than inefficiency; ultimately, they pose a threat to the survival of the volunteer sector, to citizen advocacy and to participatory democracy. The appeal of non-profit and social service organizations has been traditionally grounded in their connection and commitments to the communities they serve (Kettner & Martin, 1996; Ryan, 1999). The need for managerial and financial sophistication and the emphasis on professional standards of practice have changed the way in which voluntary agencies approach their role as agents of human and social change. Together, increasing bureaucratization and professionalization divert scarce organizational resources from core service provision (Common & Flynn, 1992; Reading, 1994), undermine the capacity for flexible and innovative approaches to serving clients (Wistow, Knapp, Harding & Allen, 1994) and transform voluntary organizations to the point where they become structurally similar to the institutions that fund them – thereby losing the very advantages that made them an attractive alternative in the first place. McMurty et al. (1990) describe strategies to gain power over the environmental constraints of the funding structures. They include developing cooperative agreements, joint ventures and increasing networking with the agencies. While the current literature suggests collaborative models as a strategy for dealing with the environmental pressures of the funding structures, there are few examples of what these models look like or any description of the process of how they might be achieved, particularly in the non-profit sector (Ginsler, 1998). Solutions to the difficulties are often dealt with on an ‘as needed’ basis so that valuable experiences are not recorded for the future, or for other jurisdictions struggling with the same issues. The main body of literature devoted to creating models for collaboration is developed in the world of for-profit organizations (Shafritz, 1998). Within the health and social services field, studies related to collaboration have focused on the partnership between the formal health system and social services rather than collaboration amongst a broader range of community agencies (Secker & Hill, 2001). Within a particular practice context, partnerships are more easily formed; however, when a different mix of professionals is involved, partnerships are more difficult (Mohr, Curran, Coutts & Dennis, 2002). Key elements of collaborative models as suggested by Mohr et al. (2002) are useful examples but for the most part consist of descriptions of what is to be aspired to rather than practical advice of how to get there. For example, Mohr et al.’s (2002) key elements are, effective communication, respect for and willingness to learn from each other, multi-disciplinary input, ability to resolve dynamic tensions and adequate resources. McFarlane and Roach (1999) suggest ongoing communication, balancing the needs of both government and non-profits, a consistent tendering process, empathy for the needs of non-profit agencies and a clear sense that both partners are committed 148 • Action Research 2(2) to helping people in need. Others have identified barriers to and facilitators of collaboration or partnerships in community health (Scott & Thurston, 1997; Curtis, 2002; van Eyk & Baum, 2002). There is consensus in the literature that there is willingness for all service providers to collaborate for the purpose of addressing client needs but a lack of knowledge or training on how to do so. Gray (1985) notes that while extensive research has occurred to explain coordination within existing networks of organizations, the difficulties of organizing a collaborative approach to a community problem has received less attention. Her approach identifies preconditions for successive phases of achieving collaboration presented as recommendations with concrete examples. Many of the less formal and more local approaches consist of checklists and mock contracts that strive to account for variables that may affect partnerships; for example, a how-to manual, ‘Tool Kit for Partnerships’, was widely circulated to non-profit agencies in British Columbia. While the checklists and variations of this approach are valuable in focussing attention on the key aspects of partnerships, they assume a static set of factors that when matched between agencies predict (or even guarantee) successful collaborations. Our initial research in this project indicated that relationships between unlikely partners can develop over the course of working together and had a checklist approach been used initially, these potential partnerships would have been rejected a proiri (Mullett, Jung & Hills, 2002). Our research project aimed to develop an alternative to these types of functional or instrumental methods of partnership development. The research and collaborative model to be described here was designed to counteract the effects of competitive funding by developing a model for collaborative practice with and for community agencies in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Our main research questions were: • • • What are members of community agencies past and current experiences with collaborative or competitive relationships? How were relationships transformed from competitive to collaborative and vice versa? What would a model of inter-agency collaboration look like that was developed from the experiences of community members? Forming the inquiry group I (the first author) had assisted some agencies with evaluations of their programmes. They knew my interest in action research and that I chaired a review committee for a funding organization. Gary Murphy and Lorna Hillman, Executive Directors of social services community agencies, asked for my help in obtaining funds for a research project. I met with a group of 20 representatives Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 149 (volunteers, clients, board members and executive directors) of the volunteer sector to discuss the idea in more detail. My colleague and fellow researcher, Marcia Hills, joined us. Through these meetings (once a month for four months) I facilitated discussion to develop the purpose of the research project, which resulted in a proposal and subsequent funding to hold a community forum. Through the writing of this proposal I became committed to the objective and the project shifted from being ‘theirs’ to ‘ours’. The forum was attended by representatives from approximately 30 agencies at the four levels of board members, staff, volunteers and clients. Participants discussed the effects of competitive structures and concluded that in their experience in the community, competition breeds: secrecy; fragmentation and duplication of service; lack of trust between agencies; and an erosion of their mandate. We invited attendees to collaborate in developing a proposal for a threeyear action research project using cooperative inquiry (Reason, 1988). Community members liked the collaborative and practical nature of the approach. In addition, because our intent was to build a model of collaboration that was based on community members’ experiences, the methodology provided us with a structure and a process for examining these experiences. It was subsequently funded for three years and the second author, Karen Jung (a graduate student), was hired as the research coordinator responsible for liaison with the community members. Another community forum attended by 45 people was held. Attendees were invited to join an inquiry group or to be part of an advisory group. Fourteen participants formed the inquiry group, comprised of four executive directors of health and social services community agencies, two front line staff, two volunteers (one of whom was also a front line worker), one representative from the provincial government, one representative from the regional health authority, two researchers, a research coordinator, and a research assistant from the University of Victoria. Others agreed to be part of an advisory group that would meet every three months to guide and validate the development of the project. With the addition of clients, the representation in the advisory group was the same as the inquiry group and attendance fluctuated from 20 people to 40 people at any given meeting. Approach to the inquiry The project used a particular action research methodology – cooperative inquiry – developed by John Heron (1971, 1996) and Peter Reason (1988, 1994). This methodology engages all participants, researchers and community members as equal partners in the research process. It is a way of doing research whereby all those involved contribute to all aspects of the research: from deciding what is looked at, to the methods of the research, to making sense of the data, and to 150 • Action Research 2(2) contributing to the action – the main purpose of the research. All participants are thus both co-researchers and co-subjects in a social action enterprise (Reason, 1988; Heron & Reason, 2001). The researchers, by virtue of being community members and therefore at one time or another either clients of or volunteers for community agencies, qualified as co-subjects. The mission of community agencies is to foster a sense of empowerment in their clients and to enhance citizen control (Hardina, 1990). Thus, cooperative inquiry is an approach that is congruent with the purposes and values of the agencies. In addition, cooperative inquiry provided us with a structure and a rigour for the process we had already begun. Cooperative inquiry, with the structure of a series of logical stages of self-critical movement through ideas, practice and experience that are continually honed and refined, provided the ideal research approach through which to build a model of collaboration based on community members’ experiences. It was clear from the meetings and the community forum that the community members profoundly understood the issues, both experientially and intellectually, and that they were passionate about finding a practical solution. Because of this we thought it essential to adopt a research process that would allow us to incorporate the four types of knowledge – propositional, presentational, experiential and practical – described by Heron (1996); this approach allowed us to make sense of what we were learning and to examine our interpretations. In addition, as the ‘solution’ being sought was to build relationships for collaboration in the community, the research methodology had to contribute to that process. We began the first cycle with interviews to examine the issues and document the experiences of community members. This was followed by a reflection cycle in which we developed a tentative model. We then examined the tentative model in community forums and in practice. In a final reflection cycle a revised model was developed. First cycle The initial stage of the research, briefly summarized here, may be read in more detail in Mullett et al. (2002). In the first cycle of inquiry we drew on a modified version of the method of critical incident interviews (Flanagan, 1954) to ground the research in criteria that were derived from the experiences of clients and care providers. The inquiry group first experimented with the method by doing interviews within the group and then conducted interviews more widely to examine their own and others’ experiences of collaboration between agencies, including the difficulties that arose and solutions that were tried. In the interviews four different types of relationships were examined: Mullett, Jung & Hills 1 2 3 4 Being, becoming and belonging • 151 a collaborative relationship that remained that way; a non-collaborative relationship that remained that way; a good working relationship that subsequently deteriorated; and a poor working relationship that subsequently improved. The questions were tailored to elicit the specific, concrete experiences of clients, volunteers, front line staff, board members and executive directors of non-profit agencies. The audio-taped interviews were transcribed and analysed and examples of different kinds of relationship identified. The following example from one of the interviews illustrates the type of story about a negative relationship generated by this method: Their size is different from us. They’re huge, with lots and lots of staff, and lots and lots of money, and lots and lots of space. We’re tiny with a pretty solid group of core volunteers, and a few staff people . . . But we never did figure out how to maintain our separateness, our identity. And pretty soon we started to feel subsumed . . . So we began to feel really threatened. In contrast, the following is an example of a good working relationship. Even though there was a substantial size difference between the agencies and some personality issues that got in the way, there was a small collective that formed very informally, that sort of talked about social events, and how everything was going, and how the work was moving forward. And that helped alleviate any kind of issues that might have developed – nothing was left to fester or get worse . . . there was also a clear objective and a clear understanding about who would take the lead role in the administrative chunk . . . what needed to happen and what the timelines were. Another negative experience was described: We had a difficult incident with a very aggressive and troubled client and we called an agency that has a lot of experience with handling this type of thing for advice and support. Instead of recognizing what we had done and giving us practical and relevant advice for the situation, we were given a very basic lecture on talking to clients. Not only was the advice not useful, we felt insulted, not listened to, and very alone. In contrast, the following story is of a similar need to collaborate but with a positive outcome: We had a situation where a client was in a life-threatening situation and needed support. We work[ed] with an agency who were open during the night because we were only open during the day . . . we have completely different services and different mandates . . . [but] we worked together to coordinate care. It worked because we knew what had to be done for the client and we did it . . . the client felt that he received wonderful integrated care to get him through the crisis . . . informal communication between the agencies was key. 152 • Action Research 2(2) The interviews were analysed to find general characteristics of collaboration following the guidelines for interviews described by Kvale (1996). We identified four overlapping categories: 1 2 3 4 the historical or background conditions of the relationship; the philosophical or ideological approaches of the different agencies; the practices and policies used to implement and conduct the collaboration; and the concrete indicators and tangible behaviours that characterize successful or unsuccessful relationships. A first meeting was held with the advisory group in order to validate these categories and elaborate on their meaning through dialogue. As the members represented diverse sectors of the community it was important to discover if these categories made sense to them based on their experience of working in the community. While this particular way of organizing and framing the analysis was seen as useful in providing a list of the essential components required for successful or productive working relationships, the inquiry group’s critical reflection on the discussions with the advisory group also identified particular limitations. Specifically, it was felt that a model for collaboration derived from this type of analysis would be too abstract and ideal in character, that is, it would fail to take the exigencies and actual ambiguous conditions of many inter-agency relationships into account. Moreover, the checklist would resemble many of the organizational models currently being examined and contested. In particular, one member of the inquiry group, the Executive Director of the Need Crisis Line, Linda, kept us grounded by continually asking the question: how is our list different from any other list? The inquiry group decided to re-engage with the analysis, and in a second cycle of reflection focussed on the more problematic aspects of inter-agency collaboration, in order to identify concrete opportunities for transforming difficult inter-agency relationships and for transforming practice overall. In each type of relationship (collaborative, non-collaborative, deteriorating and improving) the sources of collaboration/non-collaboration were investigated. We reexamined the stories and lists of behaviours and indicators. Five key elements emerged from our analysis and discussions: issues of power/powerlessness, leadership, organizational style or culture, values and principles; and ethical conduct, that is, the degree of congruence between values and actions (Mullett et al., 2002). The presence or absence of any one of these key elements or attributes of individual agencies has a significant impact on the capacity of non-profit agencies to engage in mutually beneficial working relationships. Therefore, these key elements constituted the agency determinants dimension of the first tentative conceptual model. Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 153 Deepening the inquiry with the community As this project was about the whole community rather than a particular group of agencies, community forums were held to obtain the perspectives of other community members who were not directly involved in the research process and to ‘ensure the boundary of the inquiry group remained open’ (Heron, 1996, p. 156). This aspect of the research is distinct from most other cooperative inquiry processes but was essential to the success of this project, which intended to provide a practical (and less abstract) model of collaboration that could be implemented with any agencies in the community beyond the immediate members of the research group. Therefore, we had to determine if these ideas made sense in a broader context. In addition, we hoped that these forums would contribute to the development of a cohesive non-profit sector and that the foundation of the ideas for a model of collaboration would become embedded in the community. First community forum (attended by approximately 35 people, the inquiry group, members of the advisory group and other community agencies that heard about the project from colleagues) Through thinking about and applying these key factors of the tentative model to our work, the inquiry group realized that a paradigm shift or transformation in thinking was required in order to give these components meaning and to see the relationships among them. We needed the perspectives of others working in the community to examine these apparent elements beyond their external qualities and understand the dynamics, and therefore changeable qualities, in the context of experience. Through the process of a community forum with the advisory group and others in the community we began examining each of these elements as they were experienced in daily work and how they might be transformed. For the element of power, for example, three questions guided the discussion: How have you experienced power? How have you discovered that you had power? How do you turn powerlessness into power? Second community forum (attended by 43 people) We met again at a second forum six weeks later to conceptually map the remaining elements. Culture was examined through the questions: How can you identify the culture of your organization? When does the culture of your organization become a barrier to working with others? How do you change it? Values were examined by addressing the following: What is it about your work that you value? What actions do you take that match these values? In order to stimulate discussion, the inquiry group shared some of the discussions that had arisen from the critical incidents. They included examples of differences in organization 154 • Action Research 2(2) culture and values that present potential conflicts. Through this process of dialogue with the community, we not only contextualized the knowledge we were developing but we began to develop ownership of this knowledge within the broader community. Experimenting in practice After discussion with the advisory group and the others at the forum the providers in the inquiry group set out to observe these concepts in their practice with regard to collaboration and to reflect on them by way of small tape recorders at the end of the day. Karen H., a front line worker from Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Society, said this about her agency and their organizational culture: I sometimes think that what can at times be a passionately expressed respect for deaf language and culture, and particularly ASL, promotion of that could, at times, create a barrier to collaboration with our colleagues in the community, who perhaps don’t hold the passionate commitment we have for it. Through these types of observations on the key elements there was a developing awareness of the effect of one’s own conduct (however well intentioned) on collaboration in the community. Reflection phase: reconceptualizing the model In subsequent reflection meetings two things became clear to the inquiry group. First, we recognized that collaboration is first and foremost about relationships. An agency develops and builds trust and credibility in the community by what it stands for and how the people that work for the agency interact with others. We recognized and formalized the idea that agencies are judged in the community by their principles and ethical conduct and by what they contribute to the good of the community. The idea that agencies should strive to be an ambassador or a ‘role model’ instead of an activist or lobbyist was particularly intriguing and seemed to represent the type of transformation hoped for. An ambassador of the community would embody and enact the qualities that build collaborative relationships. A second major transformation in thinking occurred when participants realized the significance of looking internally at one’s own practice. A significant realization was that so much of what we do is out of habit. Without a critical analysis of our practices, organizational culture becomes, as Karen H. said, ‘just the way we do things around here’. A transformation in collaboration requires a way to examine our current practices: in order to increase collaboration within Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 155 the volunteer sector, the process must start by developing the capacity for collaboration within one’s own agency. Introducing propositional knowledge to the inquiry In subsequent meetings, the group decided that to represent collaboration through key elements was too static. We needed a conceptual framework that was more organic and represented the developmental aspect of these relations, and the dialectical relationship of the individual agency and the greater community. In addition, we wanted the conceptual framework to incorporate the process of developing or getting to ambassadorship. We had met together for two years and, although the group had changed, a core group remained active. We had made progress and our commitment was as strong as in the beginning but we were stuck on how to move forward conceptually: we realized that a more holistic heuristic was needed in order to encapsulate the entirety of living and working with others in the community. At this stage I (the first author) introduced the concepts of being, becoming and belonging borrowed from a colleague, Charles Lemery, who uses these ideas as a conceptual basis for teaching undergraduate psychology (Lemery, 2002). Applying this conceptualization of a holistic and dynamic approach means that an agency is ‘standing for something’ but at the same time it is becoming something else, both over time and simultaneously (Lemery, 2002). This seemed to capture the dynamic quality we were seeking. I reacquainted myself with developmental theorists such as Vygotsky (1978) and Mead (1956) and reread Soviet psychology literature (Petrovsky, 1985) for an understanding of the dialectic of the individual and the collective. Karen J. read Rootman and Raeburn (1998) who had used the concepts of being, becoming and belonging in a diagram to represent quality of life in the community. One way of understanding the concept of ambassadorship is to compare it to the development of an individual as a human being. Developmental theorists such as Vygotsky (1978) and Mead (1956) have proposed that the conscious integrated self develops through social interaction and the striving to belong. Development in this conceptualization is dialectical, that is, in order to become and be an individual, you must belong with others (Lemery, 2002). Through the many discussions with community members and representatives of non-profit organizations, we realized that the development of the self is not only analogous to the development of an agency, it is inexorably linked. Agencies are run by individuals, many of whom judge their self-worth both by how they as an individual and their agency contribute to the good of the community. The development of individual agencies is in turn linked to the development of the sector and the sector is interrelated with individual agencies. 156 • Action Research 2(2) An agency is not something exclusive and autonomous but always remains a part of the community. A collective, in this case the non-profit sector, has been described by Petrovsky as a purposeful group of organized individuals (or agencies) united by common goals of activity and subject to the goals of the community. The relations between agencies are that of ‘responsible dependence’ (Petrovsky, 1985, p. 49). According to Petrovsky (1985) a collective does not take shape and become cohesive in any singular activity, but only in the activity which makes up the main purpose of the collective’s life, in this case, the desire to serve the community. Those who work in the volunteer sector view themselves – and individuals take their meaning and satisfaction from – as being a common group. In Petrovsky’s conception of a collective, this may be defined as a group of people comprising a part of society united by common goals. When individuals are part of a group, activities have both personal significance and social value; interrelations between people cannot be removed from the actual content of joint activity and the social processes of which they are a part (Petrovsky, 1985). The volunteer sector within a community is more than an association of people or agencies. One of the most important characteristics of an agency is that it looks to the whole sector as a source of orientation, taking pride in being part of ‘the volunteer sector’ and the associated values. Each participant agency has an interest in the assessment of its principles, relevance and worth, of each individual’s or agency’s contribution to the common work in the community. Evaluation of the value of their work is inextricably connected to the perceptions of community members. Conceptually, the interrelatedness of the sector and the individual/individual agency is essential to understanding the development and sustainability of collaborative relationships. If, as we have tried to argue, collaborative relationships are at the core of a strong volunteer sector, then the viability of the sector and its effectiveness are strongest when an individual agency’s operations are influenced, not by immediate pressures or by the external influences of funding arrangements, but by the aims and tasks of the activities of the sector and by a stable set of values. In keeping with the process of cooperative inquiry, where the different kinds of knowledge are considered, we presented this propositional knowledge to the inquiry group for discussion. As a group we reflected on these concepts and whether or not they captured the essential interrelatedness of the agencies; the context and the continuous developmental change that occurs in relationships; and the commitment that the agencies have to the health of the community. Karen J. created several diagrams to represent these ideas and circulated them at subsequent meetings and by email for comment and revision. In the last meeting of these iterations we finalized and drew on a flipchart the elements that would fit in each part of a model of being, becoming and belonging. The conceptual model presented here is the product of our discussions and revisions. It is both Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 157 relational and dynamic in character and recognizes that non-profit agencies operate within specific material conditions and with people who work in the agencies. In a shrinking welfare state – with the attendant processes of privatization, decentralization and deregulation – competition and self-interest are functional, as are many forms of collaborative work. On the other hand, these same processes also open up opportunities for new forms of collectivism and local control over community services. Here, cooperation and collective interests are valued intrinsically rather than functionally. Our model of collaboration attempts to account for both the material conditions of working with other agencies and the psychological, contextual and developmental aspects that influence authentic relationships. The context within which the agencies operate is depicted at the top of the model by a forward arrow for positive trends and a backward arrow for negative trends in social change. Final stage of the inquiry: articulating a model to develop the capacity for collaboration Healthy or good collaboration can be understood as the degree to which nonprofits are able to work together to maximize opportunities and obtain the necessary support and resources to realize their individual and collective commitments to the community. It is this capacity to collaborate that we have conceptualized as the three main components of being, belonging and becoming. Each of these main components has three sub-components described in a later section. How non-profits view their work in the community is represented by the dialectical concept of the individual and the collective. How are the concepts of being, becoming and belonging related to the individual and the collective? When one begins to exist for others, being is transformed to becoming, and as those ‘others’ relate to another set of ‘others’ these connections lead to belonging in the community and that leads back to a different state of being (Hegel, cited in Behler, 1990). In this way, the individual becomes the collective and the collective is internalized in the individual. The advantage of conceptualizing inter-agency collaboration in this manner is that it situates non-profits in a community context, taking into account both internal and external factors. It also lends itself to clarifying the operational basis for change. The model is designed to help agencies assess and reflect on their current practices and how their practices are interrelated with the practices of some other agencies and finally to all other agencies in the community. The purpose is to determine how they as an agency are contributing to the development of the nonprofit sector and a thriving community. It is through the internalization of these community relations that collaboration is successful. The model thus became a 158 • Action Research 2(2) heuristic for an agency to engage in self-reflection and to create successful relationships by examining how they contribute to the overall good. Because of the interrelatedness of each agency and the volunteer sector, this is not an assessment of altruism but instead a practice that leads to preservation of the sector and the individual agency. By rejecting the competitive relationship imposed by the structural changes in funding arrangements, the agency contributes to the survival of the volunteer sector as a whole and thus to its own survival as a non-profit. The inquiry group discussed the concepts of being, becoming and belonging and reflected on what they meant in practical terms for their everyday work. A colloquial expression for collaboration is ‘having all the players at the table’. We translated the concepts into three essential questions for this expression: Being: What do we bring to the table? Belonging: Why are we at the table? Becoming: Who will be better off because we are at the table? Being: what do we bring to the table? An inquiry group member expressed this aspect of the model as follows: It means knowing who you are at the table, what you are bringing, whether or not you yourself value what you are bringing to the table and knowing that ‘selfinterest’ has a limited role at the table. The goal of examining the ‘being’ of an agency is to develop a sound understanding of the agency’s human, financial and other resources, its values and principles and to ensure that both resources and values are aligned with the overall mandate and vision. Examined in this stage are: 1 2 3 the organizational structure, that is, the roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers as well as the formal policies and procedures of the agency; the context of how well those structures match the values and principles, mandate and vision of the agency; and the rules and norms that govern everyday activities and if they fit the overall purpose of the agency and what it strives for. Agency members recognized that organizational culture evolves and may stray from its original mandate and values. By critically examining the agency’s state of being, we evolve out of the static culture of ‘it’s the way we do things around here’. One agency member described this self-critical reflection this way: For me, one of the things that has changed is that instead of thinking that in order to collaborate we need to know what the other party will bring to the table, it was going back to the place where we ask ourselves what we will be contributing to the relationship. Critical self-reflection is an important step that often gets missed. It’s a key building block for any relationship. Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 159 Critical reflection, as an integral approach to using the model, was discussed in the inquiry group meeting. The following insights were generated. Critical reflection can focus on problematic areas of practice as well as taken for granted understandings and is necessarily relational and grounded in action. In Figure 1, the ‘Being’ part of the model has three circles each subsumed within the next: organizational culture, values and principles, and mandate and vision to reflect the elements of the agency that should be cohesive and congruent rather than separate entities. Becoming: why are we at the table? ‘Becoming’ refers to the purposeful activities the agency undertakes to achieve its goals or how it begins to ‘be’ for the other. This part of the model is aimed at exploring: 1 2 3 the services provided, that is, the range and types of services the agency provides and the function they (and the agency in general) serve within and for the community; advocacy work devoted to raising public awareness of issues, providing community education, and becoming a voice for vulnerable and disenfranchised clients; and becoming an ‘ambassador’ by observing who is absent at the table and bringing forward their interests and needs. Learning to think in terms of ‘who else needs to be included’ in any process, discussion or relationship is key. This section of the model is therefore intended to reflect on how we begin to contribute to the existence of other agencies. By considering the various ways that this might be possible, we might recognize these opportunities more easily in the future. In addition, by considering this element of our agency we elucidate the ‘invisible’ parts of our work that contribute to collaboration. ‘Becoming’ thus refers to those actual activities that lead agency members to become ambassadors for each other. Agency members suggested that activities such as mentoring smaller or less experienced agencies, and creating mutual support opportunities and purposeful opportunities to dialogue, would offset insularity and isolation while at the same time broadening the scope of the agency’s influence and building the volunteer sector. Some insights from community members follow: It’s about recognizing our interdependence. So in an ideal world we would [all] want to rely on other agencies to know our role, know our mandate, and what services we provide. Recognizing what you can give collectively to that particular client or demonstrating a commitment to a common value, provides a good place to start. There may be Figure 1 The collaborative mode Shrinking welfare state, increasing privatization, decentralization: competition and self-interest are valued The Agency New forms of collectivism, opportunities for local control over community services: cooperation and collective interests are valued 160 • Action Research 2(2) Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 161 a temptation to ‘cut to the chase’ and get down to business, but values actually underlie the business . . . if things fail . . . it’s actually a failure to reach common understandings on basic values. Collaborative relationships can include tiny gestures and huge commitments. As in the ‘being’ section, the ‘becoming’ area in Figure 1 has three areas represented by circles: services, advocacy and empowerment activities, and ‘becoming an ambassador’. These too are to be examined for congruency and interrelatedness and are subsumed within the goal of ambassadorship. Belonging: who will be better off because we are at the table? Belonging refers to the way in which the agency realizes its commitments to the community. This element is examined by assessing to what extent the agency is able to do the following: 1 2 3 create benefits for the community through an ability to translate funding, contributions and grants into accessible and useful services for the community and by the agency’s contribution to the social and economic health of the community; raise community awareness and public education; and act in the ‘collective interest’ by developing the ability to recognize the artificiality of the divisions between different clients and agencies and to prioritize the interests of the community as a whole. A community member said this after reflecting on this aspect of the model: Work collaboratively with funders and develop allies within the system – recognize that power is not monolithic. In Figure 1, the agencies’ commitments to the community are represented by the last set of three circles under ‘belonging’. In all of the elements of being, becoming and belonging, the main purpose is to realize the interconnectedness of all aspects of an agency’s work. Belonging leads back to a new state of being and from there the process starts over again. The arrows around the large circle represent the constant development and transformation that is occurring. Inherent in all three of these elements are the larger issues of remaining true to the values of non-profits and making a contribution to the community. 162 • Action Research 2(2) Articulating the complete model The model situates the community (or the collective) at the heart of each agency’s being, becoming and belonging. The community exerts both a facilitating and constraining influence over how the agency operates. Facilitators are features of the sector that constitute components such as social conditions and needs, general community support and social awareness of the issue. Constraining influences on the other hand are factors such as available resources, political climate and political priorities, and economic restraints. At the top of the model, depicted as an arrow going backward and an arrow going forward, the changing social trends and social change in society are shown as the contextual frame within which the agencies exist. These trends are included as a reminder of the dialectical position that within every negative trend there is an opportunity for positive change. Applying the model The community agencies tested this model by applying it in their own work and recording their reflections of it. Here are some of the insights that occurred as a result of this exercise. Lorna said: If we were looking at the model here [we would be] trying to see that reciprocity, that sense that agencies in the community would know each other well enough and respect each other’s services and really support each other. Marilyn from the government had this insight from the model: The lesson that I have learned [from the model] is that it is necessary to do your homework before engaging in a collaborative approach with another agency: the concept of knowing yourself first is a critical one. Joshua, volunteer at Need Crisis Line and founder of Transcend said this: [It’s about] Being willing to think critically about this and to be open about our resistance to doing things that would benefit the community but that don’t match our personal ideologies, preferences, agency focus etc. Never putting ideology ahead of people. Our final task in the research was the design of a workbook (Mullett & Jung, 2002) that set out the process of the research inquiry, presented the model and provided heuristics or triggers for an agency to examine its structure and its work practices with regard to collaboration. This workbook continues to be circulated throughout the province and in other parts of Canada. For example, a community development worker in Vancouver recently held a ‘partnership meeting’ with organizations that were experiencing difficulty with a partnership. The workbook was used to ‘clear the air’ and determine the strengths and challenges Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 163 that each organization brings to the collaboration. The workbook helped them to focus on what they value about the partnership and the actions needed to move forward. Conclusions Until an agency can examine itself and its goals and values, and recognize the essentiality of collaboration, the symbolic nature of the collaborative relationship – there is the potential for the collaboration to be an instrumental and static collaboration rather than one that promotes the good of the community and the non-profit sector. What is the difference for survival between these two? The nonprofit agencies are not created out of instrumental relations but out of citizen advocacy and a set of values that reflect civic engagement. It is the external constraints of funding and other community dynamics that threaten to create business relations (instrumental) out of people relations (symbolic). The model is intended to be used as a heuristic, as a way to examine whether one’s motivations have become rooted to a competitive structure or to the values connected with the ideology of a civil society. It is intended to create conscientization (Freire, 1996) of everyday practices to examine whether or not they contribute to the community or inadvertently reproduce the ethics of a business framework. We believe that the main innovations of our conceptual model for collaboration are: 1 2 3 4 collaboration comes from knowing oneself (being able to critically reflect on one’s own practice) and building capacity within one’s own agency for collaboration; knowing how to behave collaboratively (internalizing the concept of collaboration, transforming one’s own practice, or becoming the embodiment of a ‘collaborative community’); appreciating the developmental quality of collaboration (rather than viewing collaboration as a set of instrumental relationships that can be created with a contract or some other formalized set of instructions); and recognizing the symbolic significance of collaboration for those who engage in it, that is, the development of self and intersubjectivity, and the ability to see how one’s own small gestures translate into a common good for the community. Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge the British Columbia Health Research Foundation for their financial support; the members of the Inquiry Group: Sandy Bjola, Jane Dewing, 164 • Action Research 2(2) Joshua Goldberg, Lorna Hillman, Karen Hope, Jan Robertson, Larry Scyner, Marilyn Shinto, Linda Stanton and Bonita Talstra; and, in memoriam, Gary Murphy. We also thank the reviewers and the editors, in particular Peter Reason, for their thorough and insightful comments and their dedication to collaborative research. References Behler, E. (Ed.). (1990). Encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences in outline and critical writings. New York: Continuum Publishing Company. Common, R., & Flynn, N. (1992). Contracting for care. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Curtis, D. C. (2002). Evaluation of community health assessment in Kansas. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, July, 20–25. Flanagan, J. C. (1954). The critical incident technique. Psychological Bulletin, 51(4), 327–358. Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum. Ginsler & Associates (1998). http://www.ginsler.com/toolbox.htp Gray, B. (1985). Conditions facilitating interorganizational collaboration. Human Relations, 38(10), 911–936. Hardina, D. (1990). The effect of funding sources on client access to services. Administration in Social Work, 14, 33–45. Heron, J. (1971). Experience and method: An inquiry into the concept of experiential research. Guildford: University of Surrey. Heron, J. (1996). Cooperative inquiry. London: Sage. Heron, J., & Reason, P. (2001). The practice of co-operative inquiry: Research ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ people. In P. Reason & H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of action research: Participative inquiry and practice. London: Sage. Kettner, P., & Martin, L. (1996). The impact of declining resources and purchase of service contracting on private, non profit agencies. Administration in Social Work, 20(3), 21–38. Kohn, A. (1986). No contest. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Kvale, S. (1996). InterViews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. London: Sage. Lemery, C. R. (2002). Introduction to psychology. Duncan, BC: Malaspina University College Press. McFarlane, S., & Roach, R. (1999). Strings attached: Non-profits and their funding relationships with government. Alternative Service Delivery Project Research Bulletin. Calgary, AB: Canada West Foundation. McKnight, J. (1996). The careless society: Community and its counterfeits. New York: Basic Books. McMurtry, S. L., Netting, F. E., & Kettner, P. M. (1990). Critical inputs and strategic choice in non-profit human service organizations. Administration in Social Work, 14, 67–82. Mead, G. H. (1956). The social psychology of George Herbert Mead. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. Mohr, M., Curran, J., Coutts, A., & Dennis, S. (2002). Collaboration – together we can find the way in dual diagnosis. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 23, 171–180. Mullett, Jung & Hills Being, becoming and belonging • 165 Mullett, J., & Jung, K. (2002). Becoming a collaborative community: Reflecting on and transforming our work. Victoria, BC: Inter-agency Inquiry Group. Mullett, J., Jung, K., & Hills, M. (2002). Collaboration in non-profits: Dynamics and dilemmas. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 49–50. Petrovsky, A. V. (1985). Studies in psychology: The collective and the individual. Moscow: Progress Publishers. Reading, P. (1994). Community care and the voluntary sector: The role of voluntary organizations in a changing world. Birmingham: Venture Press. Reason, P. (1988). Human inquiry in action. London: Sage. Reason, P. (1994). Human inquiry as discipline and practice. In P. Reason (Ed.), Participation in human inquiry. London: Sage. Rootman, I., & Raeburn, J. (1998). Quality of life, well-being, health and health promotion: Towards a conceptual integration. In W. E. Thurston, J. D. Sieppart & V. J. Wiebert (Eds.), Doing health promotion research: The science of action. Calgary, AB: Health Promotion Research Group. Ryan, W. P. (1999). The new landscape for non-profits. Harvard Business Review, 77, 127–136. Scott, C. M., & Thurston, W. E. (1997). A framework for the development of community health agency partnerships. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 88(6), 416–420. Secker, J., & Hill, K. (2001). Broadening the partnerships: Experiences of working across community agencies. Journal of Interpersonal Care, 15(4), 341–350. Shafritz, J. M. (1988). Interorganizational collaboration in the nonprofit sector. International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration, 2, D–K. van Eyk, H., & Baum, F. (2002). Learning about interagency collaboration: Trailing collaborative projects between hospitals and community health services. Health and Social Care in the Community, 10(4), 262–269. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Wistow, G., Knapp, M., Hardy, B., & Allen, C. (1994). Social care in a mixed economy. Buckingham: Open University Press. Jennifer Mullet is a Community Psychologist at the Centre for Community Health Promotion Research, University of Victoria. She derives great satisfaction from doing research with community members to develop healthy communities. Address: Centre for Community Health Promotion Research, University of Victoria, UH3, PO Box 3060 STN CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 3R4, Canada. [Email: jmullett@uvic.ca] Karen Jung is a doctoral student in Sociology at the University of Victoria. She is committed to researching how non-profits support the delivery of health services. Marcia Hills is a Professor of Nursing and the Director of the Centre for Community Health Promotion Research at the University of Victoria. She is currently engaged in several international projects related to health promotion.

Tutor Answer

School: Carnegie Mellon University




Community Development



Community Development
Community development is achievable through collaboration between both the
government, non-profit organizations as well as the community. The government should provide
funding for the non-profit organizations to use to fund its operations and mission of community
development, the non-profit organization should on the other hand use the resources and funding
from the government to fund projects geared towards community development, the community’s
role in this is to provide the much needed cooperation for the success of community development
projects. This therefore means that community development is achievable.
In the contemporary world the idea of community development should come up because
the world around us is changing and so the community needs to be developed...

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