ePapers Repository

Partnership working

Rees, James and Mullins, David and Bovaird, Tony (2012) Partnership working. Project Report. University of Birmingham, Birmingham.


URL of Published Version: http://tsrc.ac.uk/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=wO%2fI6k1mW7o%3d&tabid=500


This working paper summarises the findings of a research project into third sector partnerships for public service delivery. Earlier findings from an evidence review were reported in Working Paper 60. Partnership working in and with the third sector in the context of public service delivery reflects a longer history of the opening up and fragmentation of public services and the increasing complexity that has been associated with the shift to more ‘networked’ governance. The emphasis on partnership was given an extra boost by the policies of New Labour, and looks set to continue to be relevant under the Coalition. The research was based on five case studies of organisations involved in public service delivery in different policy fields including housing, welfare, and employment services, preceded by a period of scoping research with national interviewees. Overall the research aimed to explore three main themes – the forms of partnership working that exist, partnerships, strategic alliances and mergers within the sector, and innovation and learning from partnership working. The case studies were very diverse, and this paper synthesises the main findings across the cases in four logical sections: meanings of partnership; structures, drivers and barriers; processes and organisational change, and impacts of partnership. Finally, we draw the findings across the cases together in a reflective section on learning before moving on to the main academic and policy messages in a brief conclusion and discussion section.

Type of Work:Monograph (Project Report)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Third Sector Research Centre

Alcock, P. (2010) ‘A strategic unity: defining the third sector in the UK,’ Voluntary Sector Review 1 (1): 5–24.
Audit Commission (1998) A fruitful partnership: effective partnership working, London: Audit Commission.
Audit Commission and Housing Corporation (2001) Group dynamics: Group structures and registered social landlords, London: Audit Commission and Housing Corporation.
Bauer, A., Fernandez, J-L., Knapp, M. and Anigbogu, B. (2011) Economic Evaluation of an ‘Experts by Experience’ Model in Basildon District, London: Personal Social Service Research Unit (PSSRU), London School of Economics and Political Science.
Balloch, S. and Taylor, M. (2001) Partnership Working: Policy and Practice, Bristol: Policy Press.
Bovaird, T. (2004) ‘Public-Private Partnerships: from Contested Concepts to Prevalent Practice’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 70 (2): 199-215.
Bovaird, T. (2006) ‘Developing new relationships with the ‘market’ in the procurement of public services’, Public Administration, 84 (1): 81-102.
Bovaird, T. (2010) ‘A Brief Intellectual History of the PPP Movement’ in G. Hodge, C. Greve and A. Boardman (eds) International Handbook on Public-Private-Partnerships, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Bovaird, T. and Davies, R. (2011) ‘Outcome-based service commissioning and delivery – does it make a difference?’ in S. Groeneveld and S. van de Walle (eds) New Steering Concepts in Public Management, IPMN Research in Public Policy Analysis and Management 21, Rotterdam: Emerald Press.
Bovaird, T. and Downe, J. (2006), ‘N generations of reform: a loosely-coupled armada or ships that pass in the night?’, International Public Management Journal, 9 (4): 429-455.
Bovaird, T. and Edwards, S. (2010), Third Sector Partnerships for Service Delivery: Summary from Interviews with Key Stakeholders. Unpublished TSRC paper.
Bovaird, T., Dickinson, H. and Allen, K. (2010), Commissioning Across Government: Evidence Review. Unpublished report for National Audit Office, Birmingham: Third Sector Research Centre.
Bredgaard, T. and Larsen, F. (2008) Quasi Markets in Employment Policy: do they deliver on promises? Social Policy and Society, 7 (3): 341-352.
Bubb, S. and Michell, R. (2009) ‘Investing in third-sector capacity’ in P. Hunter (ed.) Social Enterprise for Public Service: how does the third sector deliver? London: The Smith Institute.
Cabinet Office (2001) A new commitment to neighbourhood renewal: National strategy action plan, London: HMSO.
Carmel, E. and Harlock, J. (2008) Instituting the ‘third sector’ as a governable terrain: partnership, procurement and performance in the UK, Policy and Politics, 36 (2): 155-171.
Carter, R. and Britnell, M. (2011) Taking the Pulse. A global study of mergers and acquisitions in HealthCare, KPMG International.
Charity Commission (2007) ‘Stand and deliver: the future for charities delivering public services,’ available at http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Library/guidance/RS15text.pdf, accessed 13/07/2011.
CIH and Tribal HCH (2005) Investment Partnering: An Evaluation of the Pilot Programme – Executive Summary, Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing.
Clifford, D. and Backus, P. (2010) Are big charities becoming increasingly dominant? TSRC Working Paper 38.
Coulson, A. (ed.) (1998) Trust and Contracts: Relationships in Local Government, Health and the Public Services, Bristol: Policy Press.
D’Anno, A. and Zuckerman H. S. (1987) A Life-Cycle Model of Organisational Federations, Academy of Management Review, 12 (3): 534-545.
Damm, C. (2012) The third sector delivering employment services: an evidence review, TSRC Working Paper 70.
Geddes, M., Davies, J. and Fuller, C. (2007) ‘Evaluating Local Strategic Partnerships – Theory and Practice of change’, Local Government Studies, 33 (1): 97-116.
Gellerman, S. W. (1990) In organisations, as in architecture, form follows function. Organisational Dynamics, 18 (3): 57-68.
Glasby, J. (2007) Understanding Health and Social Care, Bristol: Policy Press.
Glendinning, C., Powell, M. and Rummery, K. (eds) (2002) Partnerships, New Labour and the governance of welfare, Bristol: Policy Press.
Graddy, E. and Chen, B. (2006) Influences on the Size and Scope of Networks for Social Service Delivery, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 16 (4): 533-552.
Hax, A. and Majluf, N. (1984) Strategic Management: an Integrative Perspective, Prentice Hall.
HM Government (2011) Open Public Services White Paper. London: HMSO.
HM Treasury (1999) Enterprise and Social Exclusion. National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal. Policy Action Team 3. London: HM Treasury.
HM Treasury (2002) The Role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Service Delivery: A Cross Cutting Review. London: HM Treasury.
Hubbard, N. (1999) Acquisition strategy and implementation, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Huxham, C. and Vangen, S. (2005) Managing to Collaborate - The theory and practice of collaborative advantage, Abingdon: Routledge.
Kendall J (2003) The Voluntary Sector: Comparative perspectives in the UK, London, Routledge
Kickert, W. J., Klijn, E.-H. and Koppenjan, J. (eds) (1997) Managing Complex Networks: Strategies for the Public Sector, London: Sage.
Lawrence, P. and Lorsch, J. (1967) ‘Differentiation and Integration in Complex Organisations’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 12: 1-30.
Lorange, P. and Roos, D. (1993) Strategic Alliances: Formation, Implementation, and Evolution, New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Lupton and Davies (2005) Is Big Really Best or can small and friendly deliver? Chartered Institute of Housing, www.cih.org.
Lupton, M. And Kent-Smith J. (2012) Does size matter – or does culture drive value for money? Coventry, Chartered Institute of Housing, www.cih.org.
Macmillan, R. (2010) The third sector delivering public services: an evidence review, TSRC Working Paper 20.
Macmillan, R. (2011) ‘Seeing things differently? The promise of qualitative longitudinal research on the third sector’, TSRC Working Paper 56.
Macmillan, R., Arvidson, M., Edwards, S., Soteri-Proctor, A., and Teasdale S. (2011) ‘First impressions: introducing the ‘Real Times’ third sector case studies’, TSRC Working Paper 67.
Mooney, H. (2010) ‘How partnerships can maximise resources’, Health Service Journal, 120 (6194): 24-5.
Mullins, D. (2004) The Politics of Organisational Concentration. Group Structures in the English Social Housing Sector, European Housing Research Conference, Cambridge, July 2004.
Mullins, D. and Craig, L. (2005) Testing the Climate: Mergers and Alliances in the housing association sector, London: National Housing Federation.
Mullins, D., Muir, J. and Acheson, N. (2011) Third Sector Partnerships for Service Delivery Case Study Report – Housing Partnerships and Consortia in Northern Ireland., TSRC, University of Birmingham.
Mullins, D., Meek, R. and Rees, J. (2011) Open Public Services and the Third Sector. What’s the Evidence? Research in Public Policy Journal, Winter 2011, Issue 13: 15-17, published by the Centre for Market and Public Organisation.
National Audit Office (2012) Department of Work and Pensions: The Introduction of the Work Programme. London: Stationery Office
Newman, J. (2001) Modernising Governance, London: Sage.
Northern Ireland Office (1998) Compact between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Audit Office (2010) Creating Effective Partnerships between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector, Belfast: NIAO.
Packwood, D. (2007) Commissioning, Contracting and Service Delivery of Children’s Services in the Voluntary and Community Sector, London: VCS Engage.
Pawson, H. and Mullins D. (2010) After Council Housing. Britain’s new social landlords. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Pawson, H. and Sosenko, F. (2012) ‘The Supply-Side Modernisation of Social Housing in England: Analysing Recent Dimensions and Impacts of the post-2007 Financial Crisis’. Housing Studies forthcoming in Vol. 27.
Powell, M. (2007) Understanding the Mixed Economy of Welfare, Bristol: Policy Press.
Powell, M. and Glendinning, C. (2002) ‘Introduction,’ in C. Glendinning, M. Powell and K. Rummery (eds) Partnerships, New Labour and the governance of welfare, Bristol: Policy Press.
Rees, J. Mullins, D. and Bovaird, T. (2012) Third sector partnerships for public service delivery: an evidence review, TSRC Working Paper 60.
Rhodes, R. A. W. (1996) ‘The New Governance: Governing Without Government’, Political Studies 44 (4): 652-667.
SQW (2011), Communities in the driving seat: a study of Participatory Budgeting in England: Final report, London: CLG.
Sturgess, G. L., Cumming, L. M., Dicker, J., Sotiropoulos, A. and Sultan, N. (2011) Payment by Outcome: A Commissioner’s Toolkit, London: 2020 Public Services Trust at the RSA.
Sullivan, H. and Skelcher, C. (2002) Working across boundaries: collaboration in public services, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Tanner, S. (2007) Common Themes on Commissioning the VCS in Selected Local Authorities in Greater London, London: London Councils.
Unwin, J. (2005) The Grantmaking Tango: Issues for Funders, London, The Baring Foundation.
Van Bortel, G., Mullins, D. and Gruis, V. (2010) ‘'Change for the Better?' - Making Sense of Housing Association Mergers’, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 25 (3): 353-374.

Date:01 October 2012
Series/Collection Name:TSRC Research Report
Keywords:Partnership, cross-sector, collaboration, public services, network governance, inter-organisational collaboration.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Related URLs:
Funders:Economic and Social Research Council, Office for Civil Society, Barrow Cadbury Trust
Copyright Holders:Third Sector Research Centre
ID Code:1790

Export Reference As : ASCII + BibTeX + Dublin Core + EndNote + HTML + METS + MODS + OpenURL Object + Reference Manager + Refer + RefWorks
Share this item :
QR Code for this page

Repository Staff Only: item control page