Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Collaboration, Teamwork, Government, Organization, Governance, Design, Politics, Stakeholders

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/27

Context of hypothetical position

The main purpose and context of this memo is to update you, as my immediate supervisor, with regard to the relationship between collaborative governance typologies and institutional design. As the newly appointed program coordinator, the main tasks of my position revolve around working with the organization’s Executive Director, administrative teams, staff members, and other cross-sector organizations to liaison, facilitate and evaluate effectiveness of programs to improve service deliveries. A good understanding of the relationship between collaborative governance typologies and institutional design is key for success in our goals and hence this memo.
Before going further, I would like to thank you and the staff members for warmly welcoming me to the organization and show readiness to work with me.

Typologies of collaborative governance

Explaining Typologies of Collaborative Governance. There is no global consensus on the definition of collaborative governance. Many authors defined the term in various ways. The simplest definition that I can recall is that of Emerson et al., (2011) who defined collaborative governance as
Processes and structures of public policy decision making and management that engage people constructively across the boundaries of public agencies, levels of government, and/or the public, private and civic spheres in order to carry out a public purpose that could not otherwise be accomplished (Emerson et al., 2011).
Oliery and Vij (2012) stated that there are more than 100 definitions of collaborative governance. Thus, the definition of typologies of collaborative governance falls under that broad umbrella concept.

Defined as an alliance between two agencies that are part of the government, interagency collaboration focuses on engaging more than two representatives from government stakeholders. Cross-sectoral collaboration involves cooperation among community organizations, such as self-organized neighbors to participate in park cleanings, neighborhood crime watch, soup kitchens and others. Sectors from government divisions, sub-divisions or profit and non-profit organization collaborations also fall under cross-sectoral collaboration. Intergovernmental collaboration occurs within governments such as federal and state. At this level, collaboration focuses on policies that require integrating laws, rules, and regulations in ways that improve collective goals of governments.
Interstate, regional, and international collaboration involves cooperation between state to state, region to region, or cross boundaries. Country to country collaboration has been increasing in modern days because of globalization and advances in technology. The members and their activities tend to international or cross regional. For example, the primary goal of North American Treaty Organization (NATO) is to insure the security and defense of its member states.
Public-Private Partnerships of collaboration involves joint workings between government officials and private sectors in order to deliver services. The narrowest definition of this type of collaborative typology is that as follows, “any arrangement between government and the private sector in which partially or traditionally public activities are performed by the private sector” (2004, 4). In Franciosi’s article, PPPs are defined as ‘government transferring responsibilities for providing services out of their hands and into private sector’.
How Institutional Design Elements vary under Collaborative Typologies. Institutional design describes important elements that are foundation for any type of collaboration. However, institutional design may vary under different types of collaboration depending on the type and the nature of the collaboration. A particular design may not be the same for interagency, regional, or international collaboration. Meanwhile, Emerson at el (Emerson et al., 2011) in their frame work of institutional design state three frame works, which are the “principled engagement, shared motivation, and capacity of joint action”. Each of these frame works interconnect and operate as a kind of chain. For instance, you cannot have shared motivation without having foundation of the principled engagement and vice versa with the joint capacity action. More importantly, each of the three frameworks has different elements and that each element outlines how typologies of collaboration may work together in solving problems that cannot be solved individually.
There are many of elements of institutional design, but the main elements include trust, leadership, knowledge, and resources. Although all elements are important under different types of collaborations, the most important is the element of trust. Trust is an important element for all types of collaboration. In the absence of trust in any kind of collaboration, nothing can be accomplished. Trust is easy to disappear in collaborations and it is hard to build. The presence of trusts permits participants to share ideas.
How Typologies are Helpful in Thinking about Collaborative Governance Design and Process. Typologies demonstrate that collaborative governance is not only limited to government or agencies of government, but it is broadly spread to other sectors. Typologies are helpful in collaborative governance and design because it highlights the differences between groups, organizations and other networks. It also provides theoretical guidelines for studying what happens under different collaborative governance designs. Institutional design is like a foundation for collaboration that gives us a clear understanding on the differences of collaboration and what happens at each level of collaboration. The typologies aid by providing a conceptual guide for analyzing and reviewing the works of collaborative governance design.
The process in collaborative design is always continuous and is very important because the phases of collaboration give us a clear understanding of how the collaboration processes should look like. It also outlines what happens before starting collaboration, what happens during the process, and what is expected after the process. Mistakes can occur during the implementation process and it is not major concern. However, lessons must be learned from mistakes and the mistakes must be corrected as early as possible before proceeding to the next phase of the collaboration. A single grave error that occurs during an early stage, if not seriously approached and corrected, can hinder the collaboration processes. Morse-Stephens (2012) listed four collaborative processes or phases that are very important for collaborating partners to follow. These processes include the assessment, initiation, deliberation, and implementation.
The first stage of the process is assessment where partners evaluate the problem and the causes. At the assessment stage, it is important to consider who should be included in the discussion process and whose participation may not be critical. In addition, at this stage, partners must think carefully to determine if collaboration is necessary. There can be situations and conditions where collaborations are not necessary to apply or should be avoided completely. For example, when a prior or potential conflict exists or the problem case is minor and a single organization can handle it, it is better to avoid collaboration.
Once assessment is done, the next stage of the process will be initiation. At this stage, partners will set the design to proceed forward by engaging stakeholders and identifying resources. This stage is followed by deliberation, the toughest and time-consuming stage according to Morse-Stephens’ article (Morse-Stephens, 2012). Elements of deliberation include establishing ground rules, developing effective groups and reaching collaborative agreements.
The final stage of the collaboration process is implementation. Once a collaborative agreement is reached, the partnering group should share responsibility on who is to do what. Partners at this stage must also coordinate on monitoring and evaluating the outcomes.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder engagement is an essential principle of collaboration. It is important to have stakeholders representing all interest groups, but this can be a challenge sometimes when there are more stakeholders than what the team table can accommodate. This brings the issue of criteria for selecting stakeholders in the collaborative governance process. While it is a tough decision process, it is better to make sure that appropriate people are sitting at the discussion table. Having said that, I suggest that stakeholder engagement to be based on selection criteria such as power and impacts the stakeholders may have. For example, a stakeholder with good reputations can motivate others to join the discussion forums. On the other hand, such stakeholders can also hinder the collaboration process because once they decide to withdraw from discussions; their actions can lead many other participants to withdraw from the discussion as well. Therefore, in collaborative governance, it is vital to design the process of stakeholder engagement. Before inviting a stakeholder in collaborative governance, it is very important to consider strategies such as stakeholders having good interpersonal skills of being prompt with time, active in listening, and communication. In addition, he or she must be an expert with knowledge related to the problem, have interest and willing to contribute time, and can bring assets if required for the collaboration.

Role of the manager as a leader

As elaborated above, the manager needs to have insights about the organizational culture and educate employees about what it meant by collaborative governance, design, processes, typologies and their importance. Now, my aim as manager is to improve collaborative efforts for our organization. My next step is to move forward with setting strategies for the organization to create alliances with other agencies to collectively meet our goals. Setting collaboration networks for the agency can help avoid service duplications to our customers, save money and budgets, and avoid grant competitions with local agencies.
As a leader, I also must improve certain personal characteristics because a leader or executive managers must have the following personal characteristics “Open minded, patient, change oriented, flexible, unselfish, persistent, diplomatic, honest, trustworthy, respectful, empathetic, goal oriented, decisive, friendly, and sense of humor” (O’leary and Vij 515).
My responsibility in setting the collaboration strategy is to provide resources and remove any internal and external obstacles that can hinder the collaboration process. It is apparent that some staff members are not completely clear about how their work fits in collaborations. Again, it is my responsibility, as a leader, to develop an organization plan and associate it throughout the organization and all employees by conducting meetings and workshops. In doing so, our employees can have collaboration skills to confront with any stakeholders under my new management role.

Works Cited

????? (2004, 4).
Emerson, Kirk, Tina Nabatchi, and Stephen Balogh. "An Integrative Framework for Collaborative Governance." Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (2011): mur011.
Franciosi’s article,
Morse-Stephens (2012)
Oliery and Vij (2012)

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