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Reconceptualising Conflict and Consensus within Partnership Working: The Roles of Overlapping Communities and Dynamic Social Ties

VIGURS, Katharine (2009) Reconceptualising Conflict and Consensus within Partnership Working: The Roles of Overlapping Communities and Dynamic Social Ties. Doctoral thesis, Staffordshire University.

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Partnership is a dominant theme of public policy and service provision in England and in other western countries. It is also a concept that remains relatively under-researched and under-theorised, especially with respect to conceptualising underlying relational processes that can shape conflict and consensus within partnerships. This thesis draws on a richly textured ethnographic study, using an in-depth casestudy of a voluntarily-founded, network-like, cross-sectoral partnership, which aimed to develop and implement a community learning centre in the village parish of Broadley, located in the English Midlands. The research sees fieldwork conducted over twenty-four months, using multiple methods of qualitative data-generation including the observation of partnership meetings and activities, semi-structured interviews and the collection of partnership artefacts (meeting minutes, funding bid document, emails). It presents an ethnographic view of the inner workings of one partnership and follows its entire lifecycle. This partnership was not sustained and did not realise the vision to which it aspired. A central concern of this thesis is to investigate the development of conflict and consensus within partnership practice. The contribution of the thesis is to tease out how these elements are understood. This study challenges naive texts that prescribe simplistic, recipe-based formulas for achieving partnership success. Instead, it illustrates what can happen when partners do not develop sufficiently strong and balanced sets of social ties between one another. Consequently, this thesis sets up a new research agenda focusing more specifically on issues of community overlaps, identities and social ties. This thesis has value in terms of providing a deeply relational account of challenges facing the development of one cross-sectoral, network-like partnership. It draws together insights from partnership literature, community literature and fieldwork,and provides a strong basis from which further research can be developed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: L300 Sociology
X900 Others in Education
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Business, Education and Law > Education
Depositing User: Katy VIGURS
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2013 11:19
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2013 11:19
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/1170

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