Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Stephen D. Truscott

Second Advisor

Diane Truscott

Third Advisor

Joel Meyers

Fourth Advisor

Catherine Cadenhead

Abstract

The current study explored the collaborative processes present in a collaboration between an urban university in the Southeast United States, a state-funded educational support agency, and several urban and suburban school districts served by the state agency. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the collaboration and relevant practices, perceptions were obtained from university, community agency, and K-12 school representatives through 12 individual and 2 group interviews. Data were collected and analyzed using Moustakas’s (1994) transcendental phenomenology methodology. Findings indicated that participants perceived collaborative processes in the areas of collaborative structure, communication practices, characteristics of collaborators and organizations, and group dynamics. Participants also described outcomes of the collaboration in the areas of general impact on professional learning participants, learning, evolution of behaviors and beliefs, relationship development, emotional impact, sustainability, and generalizability. Comparison of the current results to Hord’s (1986) model of inter-organizational collaboration and the literature on inter-organizational collaboration revealed strong support for a synthesis model of inter-organizational collaboration. Furthermore, the findings suggest implications for practice in the areas of goal alignment, communication, perceptions of collaborative involvement, system entry and assimilation, and personal characteristics.

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