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Interorganizational collaboration : the case of college-auto industry partnerships in Ontario

Click to access the dissertation via ProQuest dissertations and theses
Author Patterson, Daniel J.
ISBN/ISSN 9780494078587
Broad Subject Education
Summary This study examines the dynamics of college-industry partnerships through the case of a partnership between Niagara College in Ontario and the General Motors, St. Catharines division.

While industry partnerships are increasingly important to community colleges, the colleges lack practical models for effectively developing, resourcing and managing such partnerships.

James Austin's (2000) theoretical model of collaboration offers a promising framework in which to view college-industry interorganizational collaboration. The model is based on a continuum of stages in collaborative relationships, from philanthropic to transactional to integrative. It also identifies a set of alliance drivers and enablers which help move partnerships along the continuum.

Multiple methods of data collection were used for the case study, including an historical review of the files between 1992 and 2002 respecting the evolution of the partnership between Niagara College and General Motors, St. Catharines division. To enhance the case findings, structured interviews were conducted with a General Motors administrator along with representatives of three other colleges involved in auto industry partnerships. The respondents were asked to provide comments and reactions on the model's practicality and applicability to college-auto partnerships in Ontario.

The analysis found that Austin's model was a helpful framework to understand more systematically and strategically, how the partnership evolved, the dynamics of its evolution, and how it can be managed and sustained over time. The research underscored the importance of interpersonal relationships in the partnership dynamics, the impact of external factors and organizational adaptation on the partnership, and the complexity of partnership evolution. The study also advances a number of suggestions to help practitioners understand partnership dynamics, and suggests additional tools and recommendations in planning collaborative activities with the automotive industry in particular, and the manufacturing sector in general.

Language English
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