An Ideal Model of Inter-organizational Collaboration: Evaluating the Collaborative Relationship of Domestic Violence Service Providers and Child Welfare Agencies in Texas
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Purpose: The purpose of this research is to 1) describe components of an ideal model of inter-organizational collaboration based on the scholarly literature and the Strategic Alliance Formative Assessment Rubric (SAFAR), to 2) use the ideal-type categories to assess the collaborative relationship between domestic violence service providers (DVSPs) and child welfare agencies (CWAs) in Texas, and to 3) provide recommendations to improve the collaborative relationship between the organizations. A review of the literature identified the ideal elements of a successful inter-organizational collaboration within the following four categories: purpose, strategies and tasks, leadership and decision-making, and communication and interpersonal conflict. Methods: The elements within the ideal categories of inter-organizational collaboration identified in the literature are used to construct the conceptual framework. To assess existing inter-organizational collaboration, a self-administered email survey was created from the conceptual framework. The survey was distributed to program directors of 81 domestic violence service providers and 118 child welfare agencies. Findings: Only twenty-two of the 199 self-administered email surveys distributed were returned. A descriptive analysis of the returned surveys explains the degree to which participants collaborations have followed the practical ideal type. The overall assessment of the surveys revealed they did not meet the ideal model of inter-organizational collaboration established by the literature. The study concludes with recommendations to improve the collaborative relationships of the participants surveyed and their assessment.