Managing Collaborative Relationships in Organisations

C7 Develop and manage collaborative relationships with other organisations

Understanding the principles of effective collaboration with other organisations is important in an organisation as the current stakeholders have an active interest, the interests could be financial, environmental or charitably within the organisations. Within an organising building relationships with stakeholders can prove to help your business by using their expertise’s and knowledge. Within our organisation are stakeholders who have an active interest are parents, staff, the school staff, Ofsted and the Governors by forming relationships with them allows you to look at the care we provide and keep the employees we have at present. There can be both moral and business reasons to collaborate with stakeholders. By working with stakeholders that have current interests allows you to have a common ground and want the best outcomes for your organisation, it allows you to create outcomes together, improve current systems and work on these together to create a better functioning organisation. Collaborating with stakeholders allows new ideas and helps towards problem solving.

Looking at the stakeholders allows you to gain experience and feedback to create a better working business, it also allows you to build relationships which can help towards future cost, flexibility and better customers services, an example of this is by using the parents at pre-school to fill out questionnaires on their experiences of our pre-school, this allows us to evaluate our care and look into ways of improving our service.

There are many different types of stakeholder mapping techniques used depending on the organisation. An stakeholder mapping technique should help you decide what you expect from the stakeholders and what it is that you want from them to further the business, they can also help decide on the role of the stakeholder within the organisation. Fletcher, Guthrie define a process for mapping stakeholders expectations based on hierarchies and key performance areas. Another technique I looked at was Cameron, Crawley defined a process for ranking stakeholders based on needs and the relative importance of stakeholders to others in the network.

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The Matrix is frequently used by people as it clearly shows representation by using two dimensions of interest with a third dimension shown by colour and size representing the individual stakeholders. Some of the dimensions used could be:

  • Looking at the power of the stakeholders
  • Looking at the support of the stakeholder
  • Influences of the stakeholder
  • The need or interest of the stakeholder
  • The enthusiasm of the stakeholder

The advantages of using mapping techniques to analysis stakeholders is that it gives identification on the support or interest from the stakeholders, it allows you to spot potential risks and it can help increase transparency, leading to better decision making within your organisation.  However there can be disadvantages within this analysis of stakeholders as to gather the information to create these matrix or mapping techniques can be hard due the time the stakeholders have to give to your organisation. Another disadvantage is that the current stakeholders may have an active interest but have no experience within the organisation they are supporting, an example of this was our old Chair at pre-school, she has a background of HR and no background of childcare so when she started, she looked into creating cutbacks on planning and staffing however she wasn’t aware of legislation and framework, which was a difficult time.

A strategic alliance is an agreement between two or more groups to help succeed in achieving agreed objectives, whilst remaining in an independent organisation. A strategic alliance can share benefits such as financial, sharing costs, reputation, spreading the word that you are collaborating, sharing resources and liaising creating better communication which can help towards a number of goals. Alliance models that could be used depending on factors such as: The vision, Legal requirements, goals, resources, Finance and organisational structure are: Linear models, Linear models compare two values, usually X and Y and then look at the consistent change between them. Network models are database models that gain a flexible way of representing objects and their relationships. Network models define a set of network layers and look at how they interact.

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Collaborating partnerships within an organisation can be done in many ways and can prove to be very beneficial. Within an organisation collaborating with partnerships can allow you manage potential risks and manage strategies based on the findings. Collaborating within an organisation has many benefits as more the more people involved can mean more input, more ideas and solve more problems.  Collaborating and working together in partnerships can be rewarding, an example of this being able to share a vision and spread the responsibilities out, although this could also become an disadvantage as to many managers or leaders could create a problem, the problem being not enough people taking the orders and responsibilities. Being involved within knowledge management allows you to gain access to confidential and sensitive information which will help to gain a better understanding of the risk or vision and how to best deal with it, although it becomes a disadvantage for us as the stakeholders now know our weaknesses. Stakeholders will have access to login and other passwords which lowers our security as the more people who have these passwords the less safe it becomes.

Close relationships can make the difference between long term sustainability and short run dissolution. Organisations build relationships with their supply in order to gain flexibility, efficiency and a competitive edge. An advantage of collaborating effectively with chain suppliers can help create reductions in cost, improvement in speed, improve service levels and help develop better customer services. Creating relationships with chain suppliers should allow you to maintain your customers and be able to negotiate demands. An disadvantage of having close relationships with the chain supplier could be that it’s a too close relationship to be in, not wanting to put prices up and not wanting to upset or break the relationship, which can lead to having to pay the higher prices, waiting longer for delivery’s and having to pay full price outright rather than an account.

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An exit strategy is a means of leaving a current situation in order to minimise risk and disruption. An exit strategy is a plan that is executed by a trader, business owner or investor, it is used to liquidate a position or minimise a risk. Exiting from an organisation can cause many different problems such as financial, regulatory or legal, which is why an exit strategy should be in place to help support such problems and protect your assets. The likely effects when invoking an exit strategy is that a few problems may occur and effect the running of the organisation, the place in the market could change, the reputation could be damaged and trading could be effected or even changed.

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