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From the Outside Looking In: Limits to Partnerships

14 March 2013



people shaking hands. Blue background

Partnerships between the government and community groups are advocated by many academics and practitioners, but few have examined the limits to partnerships. A simple theory of government (involving the efforts of ‘reasonable people’ in an ‘ideal state’) is used to explore the issues in creating sustainable partnerships. A graphical presentation is used to demonstrate that successful partnerships rely on more than good
management; their success also depends on their effects on the rest of the polity, and the response to those effects. Three conditions for sustainable partnerships are derived: benefit, support and acceptability. Attention to good network management, political risks and sound public administration can improve the prospects for a successful and sustainable partnership, but eventually there are limits to partnerships.

A NZ State Services Commission/ANZSOG Occasional Paper funded by the ANZSOG Research Program.

Authors: Mark Prebble
Published Date: 14 March 2013

Case study

Download the case study: outside-looking-in (PDF 99 KB)