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Leadership and collaboration challenges in not for profit partnerships

Page, Margaret


Margaret Page


In this paper, I describe and reflect on my experience of leadership challenges in two not-for-profit transnational partnership projects. I explore the contrasting qualities of relatedness which were enacted between partners and project leaders in the two projects, and describe how the desire for recognition emerged as a theme within them. I then draw out the challenges of facilitating collaboration within the partnerships and describe how I developed reflective practices through inquiry to sustain myself in partner and consultancy roles.
The issues which I explore are specific to my experience of facilitating and of being a partner in cross-sectoral partnerships in the UK and European not-for profit sectors. In my reflections, I offer a framework for understanding some of the flashpoints which are likely to arise, in my experience, in any interorganisational collaboration. In that sense, I offer an approach for thinking about the leadership qualities needed for enabling collaboration within partnerships, which goes beyond the particular stories I am about to tell.
The structure of the paper is as follows:
* first, I set out my definition of effective partnership and the context in which it was developed;
* next, I tell the story of the two partnerships;
* then I introduce the theme of `recognition' as it emerged within my experience of the partnership projects and draw from Benjamin's concept of intersubjectivity to consider the leadership skills needed to enable collaboration and learning within partnership;
* finally I explore the concepts of mirroring and triangulation as a means offurther conceptualising the challenges to leadership and learning within the
two partnerships;
* in conclusion, I return to the specific context of my experience, and speculate on the transferability and usefulness of my analysis to other practitioners.


Page, M. (2003). Leadership and collaboration challenges in not for profit partnerships

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2003
Publication Date Jan 1, 2003
Deposit Date Apr 16, 2018
Journal Organisation and Social Dynamics
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 2
Pages 207-225
Keywords partnership, relational dynamics, diversity, not for profit
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