Strategic Collaboration As Means and End: Views from Members of Swedish Mental Health Strategic Collaboration Councils

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 414
Distributed Paper
Linda MOSSBERG , Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Göteborg, Sweden
Mental health care professionals are under pressure – both from their own organisations and professions and from external legislation and policy – to collaborate. This article reports the views of collaboration held by influential mental health care professionals who participated in strategic collaboration councils. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 participants in three groups: personal ombudsmen and managers of social care and health care. The participants presented generally homogeneous opinions of collaboration, although they differed in outlook: the personal ombudsmen maintained an operational perspective, while the care managers had a more strategic focus. All participants saw collaboration as necessary to a functioning organisation. They joined the collaboration councils expecting to form interprofessional relations that would lead to greater efficiency, better knowledge of other organisations, and professional support. The participants’ adherence to a positive norm, together with further institutional pressures, contributed to homogeneity in the participants’ responses. All guardians of their points of view while collaborating in networks adhering to a social norm. Strategic collaboration was thus both means and end.