CTG Briefing Highlights Success Factors for Government Collaborations

Jan. 28, 2005
Contact: Ben Meyers
(518) 442-3892

New executive briefing is one of 12 CTG resources produced in 2004 

Albany, NY - The Center for Technology in Government (CTG) this week released an executive briefing designed to support increasing efforts to deliver government services through multi-organizational collaborations. New Models of Collaboration: An Overview, is one of twelve resources CTG developed in 2004 to support the work of government managers and researchers

"This Overview offers a sample of what we learned about government partnerships in two years of research that spanned more than a dozen projects distributed across two continents, four countries, and three different languages. It previews a comprehensive online guide on our Web site," said Center Director Sharon Dawes. The Overview can be downloaded at https://www.ctg.albany.edu/publications/new_models_exec

New Models of Collaboration discusses four key management factors that the investigators found transcend both specific projects and national boundaries: leadership, trust, risk management, and communication.

  • Leadership -- All of the innovative projects studied were initiated by public sector leaders who had a vision of better government and were committed to developing innovative working relationships. They were also characterized by individual and situational leadership among the members of the project teams
  • Trust -- Two kinds of trust relationships were critical: (1) public trust that the projects would produce services that treat citizens fairly; and (2) professional trust among the collaborators that gave them confidence in one another’s motives and performance.
  • Risk management - All the cases faced important risks. External risks came from the socio-economic, political, and technological environments and internal risks stemmed from the nature of the projects, the participants, and their relationships.
  • Communication and coordination -- Several common approaches were taken to ensure a high-level of communication and coordination among partners including formal roles and structures as well as informal problem-solving mechanisms.

All of these critical success factors are further developed as comparative essays in the New Models online guide. The guide also presents the story of each individual project as a case study.

The guide is based on a multinational research project designed to understand how these collaborative relationships work inside government and between government and the private and nonprofit sectors. It includes case studies, critical success factors, and lessons learned compiled by a network of field researchers working in Canada, the US, and Europe. 

The U.S. portion of this collaborative research project was funded by the National Science Foundation and conducted in partnership with the Centre Francophone d’Informatisation des Organisations (CEFRIO), a Canadian research organization based in Quebec. It included researchers from the University of Quebec at Montreal, the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Syracuse University, the University of Bremen in Germany, and the Cellule Interfacultaire Technology Assessment in Belgium.

The mission of the Center for Technology in Government at the University at Albany is to foster public sector innovation, enhance capability, generate public value, and support good governance. We carry out this mission through applied research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration at the intersection of policy, management, and technology. 

The University at Albany-SUNY has a broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, life-enhancing research and scholarship, and a commitment to public service. A University at Albany education brings the world within reach to students through nine schools and colleges, and an honors college. A student body of more than 17,000 students has a global connection to more than 140,000 alumni. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.php.