Managing aims in inter-organisational contexts

The following framework lists the different types of goals in a collaboration, along six different dimensions. Each dimension indicates something about the nature of the aim, and taken together, the dimensions provide a means of characterising aims.

It should be clear that managing aims in a collaboration is a challenge, but also that the framework begins to offer pointers as to how the challenges can be managed.

Level (also known as Ownership (internal))

  • Collaboration level
  • Organisation level
  • Individual level

Origin (also known as Ownership (external))

  • External stakeholders
  • Non-members

Authenticity (also known as Genuineness)

  • Genuine
  • Pseudo

Relevance (also known as Routes to achievement)

  • Collaboration dependent
  • Collaboration independent

Content (also known as Focus)

  • Collaborative process
  • Substantive purpose

Overtness (also known as Explicitness)

  • Explicit
  • Unstated
  • Hidden

It is important to remember that these different types of aims rarely exist independently. They are more likely to exist in a complex entanglement of other aims that are both real and imagined!

(Source: The Open University, 2012).
(Source: Huxham and Vangen, 2005).

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