Strategic Collaboration in Public and Nonprofit Administration: A Practice-Based Approach to Solving Shared Problems

Dorothy Norris-Tirrell, Joy A. Clay

April 26, 2010 by Routledge
Reference - 417 Pages - 32 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781420088755 - CAT# 88750
Series: ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy


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  • Address how and when public and non-profit organizations can use collaboration for positive change
  • Looks at collaboration as a lifecycle with each collaborative venture having a specific objective as well as a beginning, middle, and end
  • Provides original case studies and analysis to show effective and ineffective means of collaboration
  • Empowers readers to develop and build their collaborative skills
  • Organizes complex concepts into three simple parts to aid organizations in adapting common goals


Market disruptions, climate change, and health pandemics lead the growing list of challenges faced by today’s leaders. These issues, along with countless others that do not make the daily news, require novel thinking and collaborative action to find workable solutions. However, many administrators stumble into collaboration without a strategic orientation. Using a practitioner-oriented style, Strategic Collaboration in Public and Nonprofit Administration: A Practice-Based Approach to Solving Shared Problems provides guidance on how to collaborate more effectively, with less frustration and better results.


The authors articulate an approach that takes advantage of windows of opportunity for real problem solving; brings multi-disciplinary participants to the table to engage more systematically in planning, analysis, decision making, and implementation; breaks down barriers to change; and ultimately, lays the foundation for new thinking and acting. They incorporate knowledge gained from organization and collaboration management research and personal experience to create a fresh approach to collaboration practice that highlights:

  • Collaboration Lifecycle Model
  • Metric for determining why and when to collaborate
  • Set of principles that distinguish Strategic Collaboration Practice
  • Overall Framework of Strategic Collaboration

Linking collaboration theory to effective practice, this book offers essential advice that fosters shared understanding, creative answers, and transformation results through strategic collaborative action. With an emphasis on application, it uses scenarios, real-world cases, tables, figures, tools, and checklists to highlight key points. The appendix includes supplemental resources such as collaboration operating guidelines, a meeting checklist, and a collaboration literature review to help public and nonprofit managers successfully convene, administer, and lead collaboration. The book presents a framework for engaging in collaboration in a way that stretches current thinking and advances public service practice.