The following Collaboration Framework[1] compares the purpose, structure and process of different levels of collaboration.

Level

Purpose

Structure

Process

Networking

  • Dialogue
  • Common Awareness
  • Information flow
  • Create support base
  • Non-hierarchical
  • Loose, flexible link
  • Roles loosely defined
  • Concern is primary link
  • Low key leadership
  • Low decision-making
  • Information Communication

Alliance

 

  • Match needs
  • Provide some co-ordination
  • Limits duplicating services
  • Ensures tasks done

 

  • Central body of communicators
  • Semi-formal links
  • Roles somewhat defined
  • Links are advisory
  • Develops new resources
  • Joint budget

 

 

  • Facilitative leaders
  • Complex decision-making
  • Some conflict
  • Centralized communication (formal)

Partnership

 

  • Share resources
  • Co-ordinate activities
  • Address common issues
  • Merge resource base
  • Create something new

 

  • Central body of decision-makers
  • Roles defined
  • Links formalized
  • New resources
  • Joint budget

 

 

  • Autonomous leadership
  • Focus is on issue
  • Group decision-making by task groups
  • Communication frequent and clear

 

Coalition

 

  • Share ideas
  • Willing to pull resources from existing systems
  • Develop commitment
  • Minimum three years

 

  • All members involved in decision-making
  • Roles and time defined
  • Links formal
  • Written agreement
  • New resources
  • Joint budget

 

 

  • Shared leadership
  • Decision-making with all members
  • Communication is prioritized

Full

  • Accomplish shared vision
  • Develop benchmarks
  • Build inter-dependent system
  • Consensus used in shared decision-making
  • Roles, time and evaluation formalized
  • Links are formal and written in work assignments
  • Leadership high
  • Trust level high
  • Productivity high
  • Ideas / decisions equally shared
  • Highly developed communication

 


[1] The Duffy Group, Partners in Planning; 1997.

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