Conveners or Champions of Collaboration in the Public Sector: A Case from South Africa
Vaz, P., & Dorado, S. (2002). Conveners or Champions of Collaboration in the Public Sector: A Case from South Africa. In .
This paper analyses the role of conveners in facilitating inter-organizational collaboration. Consistent with previous research, the paper shows that conveners help overcome the obstacles frequent in inter-organizational collaboration processes. It also further illustrates how their effectiveness depends on their credibility among the partners, their familiarity with the collaborative project and their being perceived as unbiased intermediaries. Most interestingly, the paper advances our knowledge on conveners by suggesting that their behaviour is consistent with that common among "champions" of innovation. They are likely to assume a leadership role and use influence politics, such as salesmanship, personal appeal, and persuasion. These findings build on a case study of successful collaboration between two government agencies in South Africa. We believe, however, that the findings are likely to apply to other types of organization, private and voluntary, and to other country contexts.