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Title: Interorganizational Collaboration: Interactions and Processes in a Community College and Community Collaboration
Authors: Francis, Rebecca Pulliam
Advisors: Dr. Donald L. Reichard, Committee Member
Dr. George B. Vaughan, Committee Member
Dr. Carol E. Kasworm, Committee Chair
Dr. Andrew Overstreet, Committee Member
Keywords: interorganizational collaboration
Issue Date: 6-Dec-2006
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Higher Education Administration
Abstract: North Carolina community colleges have a long tradition of collaborating with their communities (Segner, 1974). Drawing upon the Relational Leadership Model as a conceptual framework (Komives, Lucas, & McMahon, 1998), this qualitative case study examined the interactions and processes used by a community college to collaborate with diverse stakeholders in its community. The 2000 Higher Education Facilities Bond Referendum in North Carolina provided a focused example of community college leaders and staff working together with community leaders and citizens for the mutual benefit of the college and the community. The subsequent design process of the educational building funded with the bonds issuance was further examined. Based on interviews and document analysis, key understandings developed related to interorganizational collaboration. First, the participants of this study observed that a community college as an organization had the capacity to exercise leadership within the larger community. By building upon existent relationships and forging new relationships, the college took on the leadership role in modeling and forming new collaborations with business and industry, the public school system, regional campuses of the university system, and other governmental agencies. Second, individual mental models, organizational culture, and environmental preconditions were present and increased stakeholder motivation to participate in the alliance and structurally made collaboration possible. Most notably, two distinct manifestations of interorganizational collaboration were observed in this study. Two models, the Goal-Based Interorganizational Collaboration model and the Issue-Based Interorganizational Collaboration model, were developed. These two models were presented as a matrix to describe and compare the following characteristics of each model: the purpose of the collaboration, the initiating role of organizational leadership, the characteristics of collective group, the attitudes and values of the group, the group processes, and the outcomes of the group collaboration. These two models present key understandings of interorganizational efforts to accomplish goals or solve issues that may be beyond the capabilities of one organization or a community college.
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