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  of Public Health
  Columbia University
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Research & Policy

Collaborative leadership: How citizens and civic leaders can make a difference
David D. Chrislip and Carl E. Larson

This book helps readers understand collaboration and its potential power as an agent of community change. It discusses the need for collaboration in education, family and child services, and community health care. A collaborative premise is: "If you bring appropriate people together in constructive ways with good information, they will create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of the organization or community." The authors identify the problems inherent in collaborations that stem from the complexity of public issues and differences. They acknowledge that we neither know the answers nor the people responsible for the solutions. They also point out that individualism, which is prized in our society, often impedes collaborative responses to problems. Moreover, procedure-bound bureaucracies, which have impersonal relationships with citizens, are not flexible enough to meet changing needs.

The authors call for a "new civic culture" to collectively address shared concerns. They highlight six successful collaborations, and identify factors that must be present for collaborations to succeed: good timing and clear need; strong stakeholder groups; broad-based involvement; credibility and openness of process; the commitment or involvement of high-level, visible leaders; the support or acquiescence of established authorities or powers; overcoming mistrust and skepticism; strong leadership of the process; interim successes; and a shift to broader concerns.

Jossey-Bass Publishers
350 Sansome Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 433-1767
Fax: (800) 605-2665 (415) 433-0499
(1994, 192 pp.; $24.95 + p/h)


copyright 2008 Free To Grow
Free To Grow is a national program supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University.