Balancing the 3C's
Coordination, Care and the Control of Clients in Interorganizational Collaboration

Author: Eli Teram
Publication Date: 2014

With few exceptions, the inherent good of collaboration between organizations and professionals is taken for granted. Specifically, the dynamics generated by collaborative work and the way it can alter the relationships between clients and professionals is largely ignored. This case is constructed around complaints related to the control of clients within collaborative arrangements designed under the leadership of Ms. Mender, a City Commissioner of Social Services, and the perspectives of four experts she asked to comment on these complaints. This structure facilitates a number of alternatives for using the case that range from the engagement of students in a simulation of the experts' panel discussion to class discussions of the focal issues. Notwithstanding the alternative adopted by the instructor, the case provides an effective way to accomplish three main objectives:

Develop critical thinking about the violation of privacy boundaries;

Enhance understanding of the way interorganizational collaboration can intensify the control of clients;

Consider alternative ways of planning and implementing collaboration.