Making Collaboratives Work: How Complex Organizational Partnerships Succeed, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Making Collaboratives Work

How Complex Organizational Partnerships Succeed, 1st Edition

By Susan Meyers Chandler


214 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138498624
pub: 2018-11-16
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Most contemporary public managers will work in some type of collaborative or networked arrangement at some time in their professional careers. More and more work in public administration and policy is now being done in collaborative formats, and while there are many studies, articles, and cases describing successful endeavors, a good deal of confusion persists about what, exactly, makes them work. What are the best practices? This book focuses on the processes, protocols, and incentivesneeded for successful collaborative endeavors. Moving beyond new public governance theories and the limits of new public management, Chandler uniquely focuses on the facilitative skills and tools that members and facilitators need for success in collaborative work.

Written by an author with both academic and practical experience in organizing, developing, leading, and facilitating public-private collaboratives, this book has both an academic thrust and an action focus, drawing on case studies from the fields of health and human services to highlight important theoretical and/or practice points. Making Collaboratives Work is required reading for undergraduate and graduate public-administration students of collaborative management, nonprofit administration, organizational theory and practice, communications, public policy, and leadership. The book is also ideally suited to public administrators and nonprofit managers asked to work in public-private partnerships and collaboratives to solve complex problems.


"Chandler… builds bridges between collaboration research and on-the-ground practice. If you are an academic, you can follow the research trails and see what still needs fresh investigation. If you are a convener or facilitator, especially in the tradition of Donald Schon’s ‘reflective practitioner’, you will find insights that will turbo-charge your work. Read it, use it, and improve public administration at a time when improvement is very much needed." – Peter S. Adler, The ACCORD 3.0 Network, USA

Table of Contents


1. What are Collaboratives? Historical Trends

2. If Collaboration is Such a Good Idea, Why are Collaboratives so Hard to Manage?

3. Case Study: Wraparound Hawai’i

4. Case Study: The New England Ocean Science Education Collaborative (NEOSEC)

[Pamela DiBona and Diana L. Payne, Ph.D]

5. Measuring Success in Collaborative Work

6. Engaging and Convening: Inclusion as a Collaborative Philosophy

7. Managing Collaborative Meetings

8. Collaborative Governance

9. Relationship Building and Communication

10. Conflict Resolution Processes

11. The Practitioners Speak their Wisdom

12. Bringing it Together: Futures and Conclusions

Appendix 1. Survey Questions

About the Author

Susan Meyers Chandler is Professor of Public Administration and Associate Director of the Public Policy Center in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA.

About the Series

ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy

Founded in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the premier professional organization for public administration, dedicated to advancing its art, science, teaching and practice. The ASPA book series provides expert information on a range of public administration issues, each authored by a leader in the field. Series Editor David Rosenbloom is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at American University, USA.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General