Samverkan är ett magiskt ord : motstridiga ambitioner och ideal i nätverksorganisering

Sammanfattning: Network-organising has the last 15-20 years tended to become an increasingly influential ideal for how activities in the private as well as within the public sector are arranged. Collaboration over the boundaries of organisations' and sectors' has to a large extent also been initiated to promote activation and rehabilitation to work. From the political level, the boundaries between public authorities have continuously been critically reviewed when it comes to the sector-based division of resources and responsibilities. Political "push and pull strategies" based on moral, ideological and financial arguments have strongly emphasised the necessity of organising local collaboration projects between authority-offices. Such projects have also been formed across the country to facilitate adaptability to the complex support- and rehabilitation-needs of client- groups. As the employer-responsibilities in preventive work environment and rehabilitation efforts in a more obvious way have been stressed during recent years, collaboration in the form of "employer-rings" have indeed become a common phenomenon. Employers can through such collaboration exchange resources, extend employment-possibilities and provide each other with support in personnel-related matters. Although public authorities sometimes function as initiators to "employer-rings", the basis is usually self-experienced needs among the employers themselves. The aim of this thesis is to explore and critically assess inherent sources of tension in interorganisational collaboration as a concept, change- strategy and organising-principle. Five inter-organisational arrangements have been studied: three collaboration-projects between authority-offices and two "employer-rings", organised in different municipalities within the county of Norrbotten. Focus is on the handling officers that constitute operative representatives and the conditions for their interplay, on the basis of how collaboration on a general level has been organised; especially referring to internal mobilisation and strategic support from managers for a diffusion of collaboration-experiences and project legitimacy. Semi-structured interviews have constituted the primary data collection method, but empirical material has also been gathered through observations, questionnaires and documents. The results show that inter-organisational goals or strategies for change rarely have been negotiated among the collaborating parties. Organisation- specific and informal collaboration-ambitions rather tend to take the upper hand. In spite of certain proactive approaches in the organising of collaboration, traditional "top-down oriented" management-techniques are predominant. When the diffusion of collaboration-related information and experiences has been limited, the operative groups have over time developed into becoming more and more isolated from their parent-organisations. The arrangements have thus primarily constituted arenas for the development of handling officers' occupational professionalism. On an inter-organisational level, however, the collaboration has been characterised by limited continuity and uncertain long-term sustainability.