This paper looks through a managerial lens at early stages of informal inter-organisational joint working between two public sector organisations: a city council health and social care department and a National Health Service (NHS) Board, both situated in the east of Scotland (United Kingdom). The aim of the joint working is to develop a shared action agenda for learning and development initiatives which directly improve employee skills and capability and therefore have a significant impact on quality of client/customer/patient service. The sharper business focus within the public sector has brought recognition that there must be increased investment in training and development as employees are the greatest organisational assets. The exploratory research approach is based around action research and seeks to address (to some extent) the research/practice gap which Ferlie, Hartkey and Martin (2003) have identified in inter-organisational working. The contribution which this paper makes is to consider the reality of early managerialist discussions on the nature of joint working and to identify key enablers and barriers at strategic level which may impact on the success of new joint working ventures. Examples of key actions which underpin effective inter-organisational joint working are also offered.
|Keywords:||Joint Working, Partnership, Collaboration, Public Sector|
Senior Lecturer (HRM) & Faculty Director of Research Degrees, School of Management and Law, Napier University Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
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