A Comparative Study on the Inter-Professional Collaboration Among Actors Involved in Active Ageing Programmes: Lessons from Denmark and Taiwan

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: 414
Oral Presentation
Chien-Chun TZENG , University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Wen-Hua HSIEH , Central Election Commission, Taiwan Government, Taiwan
This research aims to investigate the inter-professional collaboration among actors involved in the collective actions of Active Ageing campaigns, from NPOs to the state, the media, political parties, and commercial companies. It asks how do actors interact with each other and to what extent can inequality be eliminated? Denmark and Taiwan, with their differences in welfare regime, population ageing process, development of democracy and union movement, can be good cases to be compared. With the theoretical framework developed by Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998), this study examines the relational dimension of inter-organizational social capital. Strikingly, three patterns of perceived relational social capital can be concluded in both the Danish and Taiwanese organizational fields, and each has its implication of obstacles to collaboration.  

In Pattern 1 where actors continuously measure who needs whom more and for what, an unequal power relation can be noticed. Actors at a more disadvantageous position are more vulnerable to collaboration availability and they identify with their partners in exchange of their trust. Moreover, when a collaboration project is accepted, actors’ identification of being in the same community is formed. However, with numerous back-and-forth circumambulations, actors keep asking if they should trust their partners. This is the Pattern 2 in this study and its kinetics can be categorized as follows: a) toward mutual trust because of complementary needs and ideal type of identification; b) toward distrust with problems of obligations and expectations as the crucial reason; c) toward distrust with imperfection in norms as the basic problem. Last but not least, Pattern 3, which features in harmony and stabilization, differentiates itself from other two patterns by harmonized conflict of interests among actors and a shared enemy - usually the state. Overall, embedded trust, which is weighted with identification, functions as the key mechanism in shaping such inter-professional collaboration.