An investigation of the partnership model on the delivery mechanisms for regional policy
The changing environment of the RDA in Scotland and the effect that working in
partnership is having both on the environment and on the organisation is the scope of
this study. The main focus is to identify whether there is evidence to suggest that
partnership working within economic development could in some cases not be as
efficient and effective as it is expected. In particular within this research
organisational and institutional economic theories are used to identify underlying
variables which could measure the perceptions of the disadvantages of partnership
working. Thus this approach links the advantages and disadvantages specified by
authors through their widespread studies of numerous partnership arrangements, with
an enhanced theoretical framework.
It is noted that within economic development the organisations and respondents are
involved in a large number of partnership arrangements. Analysis of the data in this
study reveals that in general the attitudes toward working in partnership are positive
across the three types of organisation studied (Local Enterprise Company, Local
Authority and Partnership). Throughout the quantitative research similarities in
characteristics, attitudes and perceptions across the organisations are evident.
However anomalies occur between the qualitative and quantitative data which raises
questions on the depth of the positive attitudes held on partnership working. In
addition, evidence gathered in accordance with organisational theories suggests that
certain pressures which lead organisations to change homogenously are apparent in
the field of economic development in Scotland. Finally the partnership method of
working is found to have inherent disadvantages which are implicated as adversely impacting on the role of the RDA, reducing its ability to act strategically and at 'arms
length' from Government.
The recommendation for further research is that the variance statistics for the
indicators and for new indicators are collected on a time series basis in order to
statistically measure whether the pressure towards homogeneity within the field of
economic development is increasing over time.