Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Eli Teram

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This thesis is a case study of interorganizational collaboration Qualitative methods facilitated reports of 25 participants’ experiences of a collaborative planning process to restructure children's social services in London, Ontario (Canada). The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the process dynamics of collaboration. Factors that impeded and/or facilitated collaboration were discussed. The influence of asymmetrical social relations of power on collaboration was observed in examples participants cited. However, much of the literature reviewed on factors that influence interorganizational collaboration did not include a critical analysis of social relations of power in collaboration. Social relations of power must be recognized as part of the process that mediates who and what is heard and valued. Relations of power are an inherent, evolving and unavoidable part of the present context of collaboration. Without an explicit critical analysis of relations of power, theories of interorganizational collaboration will cloak with invisibility the reality of present power disparities while struggling in practice to manage their effect. To recognize asymmetrical relations of power in collaboration, theories of interorganizational collaboration and praxis must acknowledge and foster a political epistemology—an explicit power analysis.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons