Collaborating across sector boundaries: a story of tensions and dilemmas
Jacklin-Jarvis, Carol (2015)


This article explores collaboration between voluntary and public sectors through the lens of theories that surface the tensions of inter-organisational collaboration. These theories identify the tensions that actors experience, the inherent tensions that underlie these experiences,
and the ways in which actors manage these tensions. Drawing on a study of children’s services in the United Kingdom, the article identifies three inter-related tensions experienced by voluntary sector participants – tensions between agency and dependency, values and pragmatism, and distinctiveness
and incorporation. While these can be seen to relate to the inherent unity/diversity tension identified in the literature (Ospina and Saz-Carranza, 2010), the article argues that they also relate to inter-organisational context, and more specifically, to the power asymmetry between sectors.

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