I often go back to this book I got during my studies for the Development Management degree at The Open University. I offers insights from twelve professionals in a variety of development management fields. It is edited by Dorcas Robinson, Tom Hewitt and John Harriss.
The book essentially answers the question: how can relationships between organisations be managed so as to build the public action and outcomes desired from development interventions? It explores the diversity of inter-organisational relationships which exist in reality and the array of relationships which are being promoted by policymakers. In this book, partnership is taken to be just one form of inter-organisational relationship amongst many. This book is enlightening on other forms of engagement between organisations captured by terms such as alliance, network, federation, coalition. It makes you more aware of important forms of non-engagement or dis-engagement at times when you wonder what happened to what you though as a strong partnership.
The 3 Cs of inter-organisational relations – competition, co-ordination, co-operation – are debated and analysed. The book concludes with a case study and practical advice into making inter-organisational relationships work.