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Facilitating collaboration across organisational boundaries: an exploratory study using problem structuring methods

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Using the notion of multi-organisational collaboration as a process involving the creation of shared meaning, this paper argues that problem structuring methods (PSMs) can play an important role in facilitating such process. PSMs are a family of participatory and interactive methods whose purpose is to assist groups of diverse composition tackle a complex problematic situation of common interest. This is achieved through modelling and facilitation, with a view to generating consensus on problem structure, and agreement on initial commitments. In order to explore the potential of PSMs for collaboration, an application of a PSM-based methodology to a multi-organisational partnership in the UK construction industry is reported. The results of the study suggest that there is indeed scope for the use of PSMs for collaboration between organisations, and that these methods do appear to have a positive role in facilitating the achievement of some of their intended products. In particular, the experience as a whole tends to demonstrate that shared meaning, mutual accommodations and learning between collaborating organisations can be facilitated with the use of PSMs. The paper concludes with a discussion of the significance of the experience, and proposes some directions for further research.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/8070/1/Facilitating_collaboration_across_organisational_boundaries_%28LSERO%29.pdf

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