Effective Collaboration in Public Services – The Views of Practitioners

  • Elid Morris

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The aim of the research is to identify the elements that practitioners feel is required for effective collaboration in order to frame a critical reflection with the purpose of informing future actions and strategies. The focus of the research is within a Welsh context and will make specific reference to Welsh Government policies. The Welsh Government has focused heavily on collaboration as its main driver for public sector reform since 2004. Of significant interest is the viewpoint of public sector practitioners and the competencies required to ensure successful collaborative activities. The research is set in the context of RSPs in Wales. The specific objectives of this thesis are to: determine and assess the elements required for effective public-sector collaboration;  review relevant literature relating to effective public service collaboration; capture professionals’ views of collaboration in the public sector to frame a critical reflection of this process. The subject of this research originates from a professional interest in how public service practitioners should collaborate in responding to such a key policy driver from the Welsh government. The researcher was part of the research process, managing the first established Regional Skills Partnership, the Regional Learning Partnership South West & Central Wales (RLPSW&CW) September 2010 – September 2015.A qualitative research methodology was adopted to address the research question which focused on the case study of the Regional Skills Partnership model, which has emerged in Wales over the last few years which links the agendas of regeneration, education and skills. The case study is made up of a review of documents and semi-structured interviews of two of the three Regional Skills Partnerships in Wales, namely the Regional Learning Partnership South West & Central Wales (RLPSW&CW) and the Employment & Skills Partnership (E&SP) of the North Wales Economic Ambitions Board (NWEAB). 32 interviews were conducted in total (30 interviews with the 15 participants from the RLPSW&CW and 2 with the participants from the NWEAB). All interviews were audio-recorded and then fully transcribed.The main research outcomes are that the elements of leadership, governance of the collaboration process and measuring outcomes are considered crucial to contributing towards a successful collaboration activity. The main recommendation of this thesis is that in relation to the Wales context, collaboration continues to the preferred model of shaping service design and delivery with respect to driving public sector reform, however there is a need to address the three elements identified in this research that are crucial to contributing towards successful collaboration in a practitioner context. This research has focused for the first time on the policy area of skills in a Welsh context and could be extended to other areas. Contributing to the debate at a Wales level with a focus on practitioners provides a further evidence base for policymakers.
    Date of AwardApr 2017
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorCatherine Farrell (Supervisor) & Jennifer Law (Supervisor)

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