Multi-organizational collaboration is becoming a norm in the contemporary organizations in their struggle to survive and thrive in the ever-increasing tempestuous times. Multi-organizational collaborations characteristically involve business, communities as well as the non-profit making organizations alongside the agencies of the government. These partnerships are frequently juxtaposed in the competitive markets and the organizational hierarchies. There are increased debates that emphasize the benefits that multi-organizational collaborations as one of the means of achieving the goals of the public policy. The notion of collaborative advantage offers a gorgeous unconventional market, quasi-market as well as contracted connections that have dominated the general management movement of reformation globally over the past ten years. Recently, there has been increased and sustained growth in the types of partnerships created to realize the public policy. Multi-organizational collaboration is accustomed to embracing essential aspects such as cultural diversity. The multi-organizational collaborations face problems due to differences such as in management, cultures, and modes of operation.
This paper critically analyzes the importance of collaborations, the potential strengths, and shortcomings of these collaborations, the challenges that multi-organizational partnerships face, as well as the recommendations for stronger multi-organizational collaborations. The paper will provide insightful knowledge as well as the managerial implications in the current practice. The article will put a lot of emphasis on the nonprofit organizations, although the subject covers beyond them.
Importance of Multi-Organizational Collaborations
There are numerous benefits to collaborations for many organizations and the constituents that they serve. The integration of service, the combination of resources and the programs to maximize the services the organization offers, empowers the institutes (Gillett 15). This is because collaboration allows a cooperative service delivery, minimizes duplication, improve the efficiency, and reduces the associated costs as well as developing effectiveness and responsiveness of the programs. Correspondingly, the organizations can achieve improved survival and enhanced legitimacy. Whenever such benefits of these relationships are illustrated, it is found out that collaborations eventually enhance the competitive advantage of the organization. When organizations collaborate, the potential competitive relationship is eliminated and replaced with one that increases service delivery to the clients or customers. Additionally, the collaboration formed improves the strength of the individual organization under the association.
In collaboration, the partnering organizations can offer the essential familiarity that instills confidence in the programs through such associations that are recognized and trusted in the community. This has proved to work, for example, an introduction to an organization of charity assisted in bridging both a communication and a cultural gap among students in Latin America. Many problems may exist in any community or somewhat a country, and thus partnerships lead to better results (Gillett 16). The successful collaboration is more of an equity-based association of a connection at will rather than a transactional relationship.
Another form of collaboration is involvement of a third party backbone organization. The third party works in hand with two or more organizations with the aim of coordinating their efforts, improving services, facilitating communication as well as helping the partners in unifying their mission statements. The backbone organization plays a central role in funding other than coordination of the services. The primary objective of the backbone organization is the provision of treasured connections and links between the establishments. A study conducted by Millard confirms that integration of organizations enhances the effectiveness of networking through a central authority (34). This was also essential in facilitating communication within the partnering organizations. Palinkas et al. advocates for a better dynamic relationship, one which mainly focuses on a triadic association of the partnering organizations which are guided by the third party organization (80). The primary function of the backbone organization is enabling the organizations cooperate and bridge from conflict to some degree of collaboration. Since the third party is fundamental for efficient collaboration, the organizations under the partnership should not conflict to reap maximum benefits from this type of a triadic association.
Challenges of Multi-Organizational Collaborations
Although collaboration has many potential advantages to the organizations, it equally possesses a potential of weakening the establishments under the partnership or in other terms, causes a shift in decision making whereby some members are favored while others are excluded. The formal types of collaborations enhance a stronger control of essential resources, yet they are escorted by a significant loss of independence and thereby involved in comparatively higher costs with terms of the autonomy of management (Lehtiranta 265). The reduction of the organization's self-efficacy for action may pave the way for new complications into that establishment's environment of operation mainly regarding the organizational structure, human resource management, and the overall delivery of the programs. In other words, the maximum cost of developing the activities of collaboration is the loss of organizational autonomy.
Another issue of concern in the collaboration is unresolved matters of sharing information, mixing of the resources as well as the professional stuff. All these can create obstacles to productive partnerships. For example, if a school, a faith-based organization, and a non-profit making organization collaborate, the dynamic of power is just displaced. Under such collaborations, there is a variety of issues that need to be addressed (Lehtiranta 266). Each organization is a critical player in the partnership thus necessitating valuation of the roles and the performance expectations such that each party is aware of their responsibilities and limitations. This is very fundamental since unclear functions and expectations eventually result in poor communication. The primary point of concern is how these organizations deal with the questions regarding access and accountability.
Additional likely issue in collaboration is the differences in the interpretation of goals. The organizations could be having compatible goals, but have slight variations in the interpretation on how to implement these goals in the collaboration (Lehtiranta 267). For instance, each organization may have a small difference in the definition of a problem and the final goal. It is, therefore, fundamental that each participant agrees on the primary goals for the collective impact as a whole. However, prioritizing these goals by the participating organizations could pressure both communication and the autonomy of the organizations.
This part critically analyzes three core areas of collaborations: the primary duty of a backbone organization, the necessity of shared data, and the importance of communication. The notion of this paper is vital to the building of trust among members of a partnership or collaboration as well as ensuring the participants offer their services efficiently. The significant findings of this paper could help other organizations in identifying potential challenges that entities face when entering into a collaborative relationship. This work could also help those organizations entering into collaboration and how they could solve the problems they never considered (Okoye 56). The paper has also shed light on some of the critical suggestions of mistrust that may directly or indirectly affect how the partnering organizations offer services and interact with one another
Guidelines for Multi organizational
It is fundamental to follow the directions of the multi-organizational collaboration for it to be successful. The most common area of concern in the multi-corporate partnership is communication. Poor communication is a means of failure of the multi-organizational collaboration. The guidelines for confronting communication barriers in multi-corporate alliances include practice, not assuming that there exists one right of speaking, not understanding that breakdowns in communication occur because other parties are on the wrong track, and listening carefully and attentively. These are some of the guidelines although there are others such as respecting the choices of others, stopping and suspending one's judgment and taking it as an outsider, adequate knowledge of the contemporary imbalances in power and respecting the opinions of others even though one does not agree with them (Okoye 56). For collaboration to be successful, each party should familiarize with the cultures and organizational behaviors of other participants. This is fundamental as the cultures may not seem foreign to you. For example, in some organizations, they refer their employees by their names instead of the speck to show equality. Additionally, some organizations prefer holding conferences early in the morning while others prefer meeting during the evening. These are some examples of what is referred to as cultural differences in this context.
Methods of Building a Multi-Organizational Collaboration
There are three main steps of establishing a collaboration. These include defining the setting of a problem, setting a direction, and implementing a plan. Multi-organizational cooperation encompasses considerations that may not be found in other collaborations. There are six constituents of building a multi-organizational partnership. These components include formulating explicit statements of the mission of the collaboration, conducting a strategic outreach and development of members, as well as reinforcing structures and procedures of operation that enhance equity (Yeates 45). These are the main primary components alongside others such as practicing new and multiple communication models, the creation of leadership opportunities for every participant and engaging in activities that directly offer inclusion. These components are essential since they shape multi-organizational collaboration. These components inform decision making in building the partnership of multi-organizational collaboration.
Multi-organizational collaboration is a process that involves the unification of organization to achieve a common goal that cannot be reached by a company on its own. The process requires a long-term devotion bearing in mind that there will be shared responsibilities, perils, and rewards.
Successful multi-organizational collaboration ought to be based on mutual respect, as well as the valuation of individual differences. The multi-organizational partnership adds a lot to the challenge of overcoming the barriers to communication from different corporate cultures, traditions, ethical affiliations, and the racial attitudes. These communication barriers ought to be conquered so that collaboration is successful (Intindola et al. 2568). The key players in a partnership should have a leadership that is inclusive, and that strives for diversity and at the same time dealing with obstacles and conflicts that come along the way. The collaboration succeeds if the focus on the common goal and equal power of the involved parties is maintained. Thus, collaboration is a significant competitive advantage as it aligns an organization towards the doctrines of business models.
Gillett, Alex, et al. "A multi-organizational cross-secto...
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