The conditions, processes, and consequences of an interorganizational partnership: A case study of the Virginia Educational Technology Alliance
David Buckner Berg, University of Virginia, United States
University of Virginia . Awarded
In 1998, seven of Virginia's leading public universities established an interorganizational partnership, the Virginia Educational Technology Alliance (VETA), to share research, resources, and expertise. The purpose of this study was to examine the conditions, processes, and consequences of VETA's evolution. A review of literature including public policy and organizations, interorganizational processes, diffusion of innovation, and technology and teacher education helped frame the study. The conceptual framework for the study was based on the policy theories of Kingdon (1984) and Hall (1995), aided by the use of a conditional matrix (Strauss and Corbin, 1990). The study utilized a multi-level, qualitative case study approach that collected interview, observation, and document from July 1998 through February 2002.
The data reveal that VETA can be defined as a hybrid interorganizational partnership that developed along three stages: Formation, Implementation, and Operations. Consequences at the end of each stage framed the conditions and processes of the following stage. This study offers recommendations for creating and implementing interorganizational partnerships in education including: entrepreneurial actors are critical to provide stable leadership and vision; broad stakeholder input and support is needed to meet organizational goals and objectives; interorganizational partners need to meet organizational, institutional, and individual needs; a stable funding stream is critical for organizational sustainability; the strength of the interorganizational partnership lies in the human infrastructure that is built through a culture of collaboration; and, communication infrastructure must help connect all members of the organization and reach out to potential members and partners.
This study also offers recommendations for policy makers including: higher education policy makers need to take advantage an evolving culture that rewards and supports collaboration; the policy process is a continuous process requiring entrepreneurial actors at each stage of development; “Collabitition”, enhanced competitive position gained through collaboration, promotes program effectiveness and maximizes resources; new technologies provide capability to connect institutions and individuals across time and space; and, the actors in interorganizational partnerships are a resource in problem identification and solutions. This study adds to the understanding of the factors that promote inter-institutional collaboration, and to the research on statewide policy implementation.
Berg, D.B. The conditions, processes, and consequences of an interorganizational partnership: A case study of the Virginia Educational Technology Alliance. Ph.D. thesis, University of Virginia.
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