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Title: Understanding collaborative management in higher education, the possibilities and parameters of partnership : a case study of CADISE
Author: O'Neil, Bethan
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the emergent area of collaborative management practised in the higher education context by reflecting on a three year case study of seven specialist performing and creative arts higher education institutions at the start of the twenty first century. The members were part of a formal consortium (CADISE) engaged in a HEFCE funded project on 'Developing Collaborative Management Skills for Senior Executives'. The principal research question of 'how do we understand collaborative management?' is supported by three subsidiary research questions exploring the external factors that have influenced the growth of academic consortia in higher education; the factors that influenced the development of CADISE and attracted its Principals and Chief Executive Officers to it in the first place; and the practices and skills that have emerged to support collaborative management. The argument in this thesis is that collaborative management is new, different and complex, calls for different approaches and ways of managing alliances to accommodate the uncertainty and ambiguity that the changing world of higher education faces. The thesis is underpinned by two theoretical constructs: 'strategic intent' (Hamel and Prahalad, 1989) and its place In 'animating the dream' of the CADISE Policy Group both as a collective and through their individual imaginations of what the alliance could do for them; and the 'legitimacy of messiness', a theoretical framework for thinking both about the performance of process and the process of performance (de Rond) and developed in the pharmaceutical and bio-technology sphere of strategic alliances. The locus of the research is the case study on the seven Chief Executive Officers of CADISE who through the funded project were both learning about the shift from autonomously managing their own institutions to collaborative management in a consortium setting at the same time as managing, embedding and sustaining the CADISE through its first three years. This called for working at a number of levels simultaneously in developing both strategy and an operational infrastructure, building vision, managing change in a complex and turbulent environment, defending and preserving their institutions, positioning the consortium and working together to meld their strategic intents at the same time as experientially learning about collaborative management through an externally funded project. The thesis is constructed according to three parallel dimensions of the 'policy context' for higher education, the 'people' (as collaborative leaders) and 'process, that both underpin and intersect throughout the study. From the findings in the case study this three 'P' model is built upon to suggest a 'P' model of understanding and handling collaborative employing the different skills, new ways of thinking and interacting that are required in collaborative working. Its contribution to new knowledge is through the 'up-close and personal' three year observation of the emergent process from the perspective of a reflective practitioner engaged in collaborative management, against an uncertain backdrop, together with an analysis of the personal constructs of the leaders of an innovative and pioneering model of collaboration from an empirical researcher point of view.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available