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Exploring Aims in Collaboration

Describe about the Managing Inter-Organizational Partnership and Alliances.

The collaboration of two or more organizations means the conjugation of these organizations to achieve their goal. Working collaboratively, helps the organization to enhance their performance, products or services, skills and win new business. The organizations mainly collaborate on commercial ventures, as the development of new products or the penetration of new markets. There are different types of collaboration networks like business network, development network and regional business network.

In this project, a case study is analyzed on the collaboration of Pentagon company and British Standards Institution (BSI) group.  British Standards Institution is the national standard body of the United Kingdom[1]. BSI provides certification and standard related services to different business.  It audits and improves certification to companies worldwide, thereby enhancing their management systems.  Pentagon group is a network of franchised motor dealers across fifteen cities in the United Kingdom. Its accident repair business works with a variety of business works including manufacturers, insurance companies and fleet management companies. They aim at delivering the high level service. The collaboration between these two companies is the development network. Here, Pentagon company collaborates with BSI to achieve certification. This improvises the working of Pentagon and helps it to get acclaimed in the united kingdom[2]. 

The case study is divided into nine elements that are to be analyzed based on this collaboration. Each part would reflect on new information regarding this collaboration of two companies. The focus would be given on the understanding of these key issues, and how managerial steps could be taken by being the lead in the management system.

Before forming any collaborations, the core aim to collaborate must be set. The purpose can vary according to the needs of the two companies, yet that must be the primary focus before getting into any alliance[3]. The aim of forming an alliance could be financial aid, human capital, physical capital, intellectual capital, or developing a new process. The main motive must be clear so that the alliance is made with the suitable organization hat helps each other to fulfill their goal[4].

In the case study, Pentagon company, which deals with accident repair of automobiles are done, persists in a competitive market. Among all his competitors, pentagon company wanted to be chosen by famous insurance company or repairers. This would increase their want in the field, make them win the customer's focus. Being the managerial head of such a company, the basic aim would have been to get associated with such an organization which is well known. The organization should help in developing the quality and spread the name of the organization. It should be helpful in getting connected to various companies and repairers of branded automobiles manufacturers.

Exploring structure in collaboration

On the other hand, BSI is an organization that is a non-profit association. It gets aligned with various SMEs and helps them get certified. With the various certifications that it provides, it helps these countries to grow.   As the main purpose of this organization is to get into alliances with various organization, the main aim of the managerial head would be, to improve the offerings to the member alliances so that a relation of mutual benefit is shared. Expanding the national standard body services must be kept in focus with thoughtful leaders in uk. Developing the organization official publishing business into knowledge service providers should be an important goal so that more and more companies get attracted to such alliances thereby earning more revenue.

Exploring aim in collaboration is the first step of getting into an alliance. Objectives must be set by both the organizations before entering into any alliance. That is the basic lesson for practise, so that both the companies are well aware of their reasons for getting into such collaborations. In this context, Edwin locke’s goal setting theory of motivation can be implie. It tells the organization to fix the objectives as it would help the company to reach their goal efficiently.[5]

After getting the aims of collaboration fixed, the first step for business collaboration is to formulate an efficient structure related to the process of the collaboration[6]. It is important to identify the rules of engagement between the organizations of collaboration. Both the parties should agree to the structure. There are various stages of structuring the alliance as agglomeration, networking, coordinating, mobilizing, collaborating and sustaining. 

The companies should analyze all the steps beforehand, so that have an idea regarding the process the alliance between Pentagon company of automobiles repair and BSI, must be categorized regarding the above mentioned levels of structure. Being the leading head, it is a duty to organize such structures. At first, agglomeration is done, capability matrix is set up. Next step is networking, external and internal information is shared. The collaboration needs to establish leadership to support or facilitate the process. Next is coordinating the project planning.  Membership protocols must be developed, identifying key stakeholders and working with them. Collaborating is the next step, where network management and allocation of members must be done. License agreement and royalties protocol are to be maintained. Sustaining the collaboration is the last step, where longer term goals must be analyzed, and research and development group should be made efficient[7]. New ways must be explored order to maximize the profits to be earned from the collaboration of the organizations.

Exploring trust in collaboration

It can be concluded, that structure helps in analysing a framework for the organizations. It helps to seek the pathway through which both the organization can move and seek the best of the alliance formed. The lessons for practise in this context and in similar context, is that both the organization must maintan a detail structure after coming into partnerships with each other. With the aim of the alliance kept in mind, the companies must use the various hierarchical steps that would initiate the process of the business. The Classical Organization Theory that had been developed in the 20th century is the best that could be implied in this situation as this would help the companies to get a guide towards framing the structure.[8]

Two countries when to enter into a collaboration, building trust on each other is one of the most important aspects of the alliance. Trust building loop is a concept that is developed around this idea. The initiation of a trust loop among the two organizations may be the reason for ambiguity and complexity of the collaboration, difficulty in clarifying aims, and managing risks. The sustainability of such loops depends on the constant changing dynamics of collaboration, power imbalance within a collaborative consent and the need to nurture for continuous efforts to sustain trust.

Pentagon and BSI have entered into such a collaboration that requires both the organization to built-in trust for each other. Pentagon has collaborated in search of excellence in its field. It aims at achieving its target by getting certified. Whereas, BSI comes under an alliance with the hope of adding another client to its list. It could now focus on such companies that deal with automobiles. The organizations help each other to sustain their trust. It helps both of them to grow towards their goal. If there is no confidence among the organizations while entering into a collaboration, then the creation of an alliance is ineffective.

When two companies collaborate, trust must prevail in them. Only then a successful collaboration system can be set.the lessons for practise in this context would be that be true to each other. Both the companies should always keep in mind that  both are in need of each other. The partnership would be incomplete without one of the organization. So maintaining trust on each other’s behalf and being true to each other would help the alliance to succeed. Karen Stephenson’s Quantum Theory of trust can be implied in this context. According to tis social network theorist, the act of connecting to a trusted business partner triggers a feeling of assurance in them[9].

Power is a term that has been taken as a concept of domination of one over the other. This term has many positive aspects. In a collaboration of two organization, power plays an important role. Three terms related to power should be discussed here,' power over,' ' power to', and 'power for.'[10]

Power over is a negative aspect of power. Its shows the dominance of one over the other. When an organization has power over the other, then the weak one has many drawbacks in the alliance. Power over concept differentiates between the two companies and hence, it makes brings inequality, injustice, and misconceptions between the two. Power to is a positive idea, where both the organizations are in joint action. Both the organization has the power to make a difference in such an association. Power within refers to that alliance where self-identity, confidence, and awareness is perceived[11].

In the case study, the form of power that dwells in the association of Pentagon company and BSI is the form of power to and power within. If there would have been power over, then it would be exercised by BSI over the Pentagon. Pentagon would not be able to survive such an alliance. Hence, to proceed a smooth functioning of the inter-organization association, power to and power within should be assessed. Power maintains a form of self-satisfaction, which shows that there is equality of opportunity for both the companies. None of the organizations is superior to the other in any sense. Both has the capability to make a difference.

Exploring collaboration of power in the alliance must be checked always. It should be seen that none of the organization is either above or below. They both maintain an equal position in the partnership. This would help the organization to improve and strengthen their alliance as they would not get suppressed by the behaviour of the other. Both of them would have an equal say in the decisions to be taken nd have the equal status. The Theory Of Fred Luthans can be implied is such a context, where different roles of power is shown with advantages and limitations.[12]

The flow of knowledge in a collaboration is an important attribute. When two companies are held in an association, their basic aim is to fulfill their goals with the help of each other. A lot can be learned from each other, by being in an alliance. There are some concepts regarding the learning attribute in collaboration. There are three types of learning done, selfish learning, sideline learning, and sharing. The sidelining attribute can be defined as that attribute which may be a nonconsiderate learning. The learning may happen unintentionally. Selfish learning may be defined as that type of learning where one of the partners receive the knowledge but do not provide its partner with the knowledge. These two forms of learning are nit suitable when an alliances formed. The only way of learning that is feasible is sharing. Sharing is further divided into two, as sharing exchanging and sharing exploring. Sharing exchanging is a bi or multi-dimensional knowledge flow where the partners are appreciated for being a source of knowledge. Whereas sharing exploring is a knowledge outflow where knowledge is shared and new valuable ideas are created.

In the case study, Pentagon and BSI forms a sharing exploring from of relationship. Both the organizations share valuable information and knowledge to each other and thereby new ideas, to enhance business, is created. Pentagon to increase the size of its business, seeks knowledge and advice of BSI, whereas, BSI on the other hand, takes information from the Pentagon, to know about their type of industry. That would help BSI to expand its business to the automobiles repair sector of the country.

Hence, the lesson from this context could be concluded that learning is an important aspect in partnership that must be shared among the oartners. There must be no selfishness among the members of the alliance. This would rather harm the collaboration than prove to be advantageous for one. Informations must be shared among the mebers freely and a friendly relation must be maintained. The theory of Organizational Learning (OL) by Argrys and Schon must be followed in this context. It would help the organizations to get hold of the advantages of learning and how it must be shared among the member.

Identity is an important factor in the inter-organizational collaboration. Identity can be crystallized for a period of time. Identities can be so deep-rooted that they are difficult to change. The companies must be identified well to get attracted by customers in their field[13].

Pentagon, to achieve such identification, certifies itself with BSI Kitemark. It enables the company to get acknowledged among the customers. It helps the organization to get differentiated from others. It acts as an award over those who do not behave it. It creates an identity for the company to carry forward its business.

As more and more companies tie itself to the BSI, BSI gets a noticeable response from different sectors worldwide. It helps the companies to identify BSI because of its valuable collaborations.

The aim of improving identity is an important aspect of the organization. Hence, in this context the lesson that must be learnt is that the organization should be acknowledged with such an association that helps each of them to make an identity of its own. The identity must help the organizations to stand out of the crowd, to help them to excel in their fields. The theory that can be implied in the context of exploring identity in collaboration is the identity management theory as stated by erving groffman. It teaches the ability to manage one’s identity by facing the work and by acknowledging various factors for identity management.

Leadership in collaboration is practiced in business with great success. It is found useful where there is no one in charge to monitor the proceeds. Among the most important attributes of leadership in collaboration, some are problem solving and decision making efficiency, someone who steers the group in the direction of achieving the goals, leadership of process rather than the team[14].

Being the leading head of the managerial department, by being in collaboration, it must be kept in focus that dealing with new challenges and problems should be the basic aim. New ventures would be introduced, to which the workers are unaccustomed to. Hence monitoring such processes must be done by the leader. The leader must not be leading the group; it must be leading the process. Dominating people is not considered to be an ethical nature of the lead.

BSI’s leadership, on the other hand, would be in analyzing the new sector, knowing it whereabouts and gaining knowledge as to how this industry works. This would help the organization to tie up with other organization of the same field, thereby initiate in spreading their businessa.

A good leadership guidance helps the organization to follow the structured path of the business. Lessons to be learnt in this context is that the leader must not rule over the others, rather it must monitor them. Clarifying doubts, helping the others to analyse work and taking out the best from the employess must be done accurately. The modern trait theory, behavioural theory and the contingency theory must be implied in this context. It would help the leaders o the organization to know about their roles in the organization[15].

Success in collaboration is acknowledged by everyone. There are many variables; that accelerates the success of the system. These could be institutional support, the presence of a facilitator, compatible collaboration, acquisition of knowledge, relevant skills, and knowledge[16]. The success of cooperation depends on substantive outcomes, new milestones, collaborative process, recognition and pride for the collaborative practice and supporting useful performance research.

Pentagon faced by lots of competitors, involves itself in various practices, that would help them to achieve their aims. With the help of the collaboration, pentagon company got acknowledged by royal sun alliance and the Royal Bank of Scotland. In many cases, the BSI Kitemark is necessary for being accepted as an approved body shop. Pas 125 provided a methodology that could be easily applied to ensure best practice vehicle repair. It has helped to attract more customers.

To acknowledge success in collaboration, both the organization must fulfil their aims and follow their path structured. The organizations must enhance skills, certifications and recognitions and perform quality work to seek  high success rate.  The Concept Key Success Factors : Theory And Method By Klaus Grunert And Charlotte Ellegard must be implied here. All the theories and practices regarding the success of organizations must be considered.[17]

An efficient management plan ensures the efficiency of the system. It includes standard methods of doing various things, and where these methods would operate.  The management system depends on a number of factors such as the goal of the organization, the steps needed to run the organization, degree of freedom needed by people at all levels in order to do their jobs well, resources available to carry out the management plan, and how well does the management plan fits in the philosophy and mission of the organization.[18]

Management clarifies the roles and responsibilities of everyone in the organization so that everyone knows what they are supposed to do, it divided the work of the organization in reasonable and equitable ways, so that everyone’s job is not only defined , but feasible, increases accountability, ensures necessary tasks assigned to the appropriate staff members, and creates a time schedule to get them accomplished. It even helps the organization define itself.

Acting as the leading head of the pentagon company, it must be ensured that the certification is taken from such a company which is well known and most demanded. Its must ensure that the people abide by the new rules and process of being in collaboration, all the steps and structures of collaboration are followed. This efficient functioning of the system would help the company to grow towards its target.

On the other hand, being the manager head of the business standard institution company, the possible duties would change. The manager should be more efficient in gathering new companies for collaboration. Showing the advantages of being collaborated with BSI. Targeting those sectors that are still new for the company as it would help the company to grow globally.

The managers of both the organizations must choose or design a managements model that would comfortably fit the organization and will accomplish their respective purposes. There ust be skilled people in order to efficient operate of the management structure. A comprehensive set of policies and procedures must be made to cover the essential management areas such as people, money , supplies and equipment, activities , and relations with the outside world[19]. The theory that must be implied here is the theory Managing to collaborate: the theory and practice of collaborative advantage by Huxham, Chris and Vangen (2005).

Conclusion

Inter-organizational collaboration of two organizations is one of an efficient way to enhance the business of each company. Collaborations are very active to get aids from other organization. This helps to step out of the competition level. In this project, a case study analysis is done on the collaboration of Pentagon company and British Standards Institution group. A clear structure of the various elements of collaboration is considered. Important factors in collaboration such as the aim, structure, trust, power, learning, identity, leadership, success, and management are analyzed.

The above mentioned nine elements have a crucial impact on the collaboration and hence as the leading head of the management department, these case are briefly discussed. On the successful collaboration between these two organizations, Pentagon company received a BSI Kitemark which serves as an important factor to be acknowledged as a body shop for automobile repair. This collaboration has helped BSI company to get more clients in the field of vehicle repair. 88% of the consumers trust in BSI Kitemark certified companies.[20] Therefore, obtaining the certification of this company helped Pentagon to enhance its business goals. Therefore, a clear view is set as to how collaboration between two companies helps to raise the standards and revenue of both the organizations.

References

Northouse, P.G., 2015. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.

Luthans, F., 2012. Psychological capital: Implications for HRD, retrospective analysis, and future directions. Human Resource Development Quarterly,23(1), pp.1-8.

Siemens, G., 2014. Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

Huxham, C. and Vangen, S., 2013. Managing to collaborate: The theory and practice of collaborative advantage. Routledge.

Macdonald, S. and Chrisp, T. (2005). Acknowledging the purpose of Partnership , Journal of Business Ethics, 59 (4).

Wong, A., Tjosvold, D. and Yu, Z.Y. (2005). Organizational partnerships in China: Self-interest, goal interdependence, and opportunism , Journal of Applied Psychology, 90 (4), 782-791.

Gray, B. (1985) , Conditions facilitating interorganizational collaboration. Human Relations, 38, 911-936.

Kanter, R.M. (1994) Collaborative advantage: The art of alliances , Harvard Business Review , 72, 96-108.

Hoon-Halbauer, S.K. (1999) Managing Relationships Within Sino-Foreign Joint Ventures, Journal of World Business, 34, 4 p.344-399.

Medcof, J.W. (1997) Why Too Many Alliances End in Divorce , Long Range Planning, 30, 5 p.718-732.

Child, J. (2001) , Trust: The fundamental bond in global collaboration.Organizational Dynamics, 29(4), 274-88.

Das, T. K. and Teng, B.-S. (2001) , Trust, control, and risk in strategicalliances: An integrated framework , Organization Studies, 22(2), 251-283.

Sundaramurthy, C. and Lewis, M. (2003) , Control and collaboration: Paradoxes of governance,  Academy of Management Journal, 28(3), 397- 415.

Vaara, E., Tienari, J., Piekkari, R. and Santti, R. (2005)  Language and circuits of power in a merging multinational corporation , Journal of Management Studies, 42(3), 595-623.

Huxham, C. and Hibbert, P. (2008). Manifested attitudes: Intricacies of interpartner learning in collaboration, Journal of Management Studies, 45(3), 502-529.

Hibbert, P. and Huxham, C. (2005) , A little about the mystery: Process learning as collaboration evolves , European Management Review, 2, 59–69.

Inkpen, A. C. and Tsang, E. W. K. (2005), Social capital, networks and knowledge transfer, Academy of Management Review, 30,146–65.Feyerherm, A.E. (1994), Leadership in collaboration: a Longitudinal study of Two interorganizational rule-making groups, Leadership Quarterly, 5(3/4), 253-270.

Judge, W.Q. and Ryman, J.A. (2001),The shared leadership challenge instrategic alliances: Lessons from the U.S. healthcare industry Academy ofManagement Executive, 15, 2, 71-79.

Pentagon-group.co.uk. (2016), Accident Repairs And Bodyshop. Car Repair Quotes.. [online] Available at: https://www.pentagon-group.co.uk/accidentrepair [Accessed 27 Aug. 2016].

Bsigroup.com. (2016). Standards, Training, Testing, Assessment and Certification | BSI Group. [online] Available at: https://www.bsigroup.com/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2016].

Locke, E.A. and Latham, G.P. eds., 2013. New developments in goal setting and task performance. Routledge.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Cicală, I.R., Dragomir, D. and Dragomir, M., 2013. DETERMINING THE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS OF A ROMANIAN FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, AS PART OF A STRATEGIC PLANNING INITIATIVE.Review of Management & Economic Engineering, 12(1).

[1] Bsigroup.com. (2016). Standards, Training, Testing, Assessment and Certification | BSI Group. [online] Available at: https://www.bsigroup.com/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2016].

[2] Pentagon-group.co.uk. (2016), Accident Repairs And Bodyshop. Car Repair Quotes.. [online] Available at: https://www.pentagon-group.co.uk/accidentrepair [Accessed 27 Aug. 2016].

[3] Huxham, C. and Vangen, S., 2013. Managing to collaborate: The theory and practice of collaborative advantage. Routledge.

[4] Gray, B. (1985) , Conditions facilitating interorganizational collaboration.

Human Relations, 38, 911-936.

[5] Locke, E.A. and Latham, G.P. eds., 2013. New developments in goal setting and task performance. Routledge.

[6] Macdonald, S. and Chrisp, T. (2005). Acknowledging the purpose of

Partnership , Journal of Business Ethics, 59 (4).

[7] Wong, A., Tjosvold, D. and Yu, Z.Y. (2005). Organizational partnerships in

China: Self-interest, goal interdependence, and opportunism , Journal of

Applied Psychology, 90 (4), 782-791.

[8] Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

[9] Siemens, G., 2014. Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.

[10] Child, J. (2001) , Trust: The fundamental bond in global collaboration.

Organizational Dynamics, 29(4), 274-88.

[11] Das, T. K. and Teng, B.-S. (2001) , Trust, control, and risk in strategic

alliances: An integrated framework , Organization Studies, 22(2), 251-283.

[12] Luthans, F., 2012. Psychological capital: Implications for HRD, retrospective analysis, and future directions. Human Resource Development Quarterly,23(1), pp.1-8.

[13] Sundaramurthy, C. and Lewis, M. (2003) , Control and collaboration:

Paradoxes of governance,  Academy of Management Journal, 28(3), 397-

[14] Huxham, C. and Hibbert, P. (2008). Manifested attitudes: Intricacies of interpartner

learning in collaboration, Journal of Management Studies, 45(3), 502

-529.

[15] Northouse, P.G., 2015. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage publications.

[16] Hibbert, P. and Huxham, C. (2005) , A little about the mystery: Process

learning as collaboration evolves , European Management Review, 2, 59–69.

[17] Cicală, I.R., Dragomir, D. and Dragomir, M., 2013. DETERMINING THE CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS OF A ROMANIAN FURNITURE MANUFACTURER, AS PART OF A STRATEGIC PLANNING INITIATIVE.Review of Management & Economic Engineering, 12(1).

[18] Judge, W.Q. and Ryman, J.A. (2001),The shared leadership challenge in

strategic alliances: Lessons from the U.S. healthcare industry Academy of

Management Executive, 15, 2, 71-79.

[19] Huxham, C. and Vangen, S., 2013. Managing to collaborate: The theory and practice of collaborative advantage. Routledge.

[20] Bsigroup.com. (2016). Standards, Training, Testing, Assessment and Certification | BSI Group. [online] Available at: https://www.bsigroup.com/ [Accessed 27 Aug. 2016].

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