Tensions: a challenge to governance and cross-sector partnerships

Hayes, John Paul; Cornforth, Chris and Vangen, Siv (2011). Tensions: a challenge to governance and cross-sector partnerships. In: 18th Multi-Organisational Partnerships Alliances and Networks, 4-6 Jul 2011, Glasgow.

URL: http://www.sbs.strath.ac.uk/mopan2011/


In the UK the delivery of public services has changed over the last 25 years. This role has moved from the public sector to one where organisations from the third sector (TSOs) are involved through cross-sector partnerships. Bringing together organisations and individuals with societal and state values intensifies a tension and potential conflict between participants in how they coordinate and monitor their activities to deliver a coherent public service together. In this paper a conceptualisation of governance in cross-sector partnerships is introduced. This is used to show how tensions may be understood through highlighting who tensions are between, what activities are being used to govern tensions and how tensions exist. This aims to extend explanations of why tensions are a challenge in partnerships, why governance in partnerships is seen as complex and ambiguous, and partnership outcomes are less than expected.

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