Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Geoffrey Nelson

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Despite calls for partnership from government, human service organizations, researchers, consumers and providers, there is very little literature about partnership. This research attempts to better understand the concept of partnership through a case study of Waterloo Regional Homes for Mental Health Inc., an organization which is implementing partnership oriented practices. Data collected included 11 key informant interviews, a review of documents, and process notes. Findings were organized around definition, facilitative and impeding factors, and outcomes of partnership. Defining values of partnership which emerged were collaborative interaction, power-sharing, shared decision-making, stakeholder involvement, resource sharing, shared responsibility, and equality. Facilitative and impeding factors centred around attitudes/personalities, relationships, and strategies. Attitudes which impeded partnership were described as labeling, stigmatizing, and reflecting limiting assumptions about people. Facilitative personality traits were cooperation, openness, risk-taking, and an innovation orientation. Strategies which enable partnership included developing shared values and goals, reducing competition and territorialism, dealing with conflict through compromise, sharing information, and effective communication. Outcomes included changed people, changed relationships, changed services, and changed organizations. Social change is discussed as a long-term outcome of partnership.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons