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Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations
Collaborative leadership in voluntary organisations

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4 Collaboration and shared power

Last week, you were introduced to Crosby and Bryson’s model of integrative leadership. This builds on an assumption that the twenty-first century world is one in which power is shared. At a basic level, this is a straightforward assumption for those living in the developed world. Increasingly, we acknowledge that no one organisation or group of people – including government – should determine the future, without engaging with other organisations, communities, experts, service users, businesses and citizens. As explored in the previous sections, we recognise the right of campaigning organisations and citizen groups to impact the ways in which society thinks about and addresses such issues. 

A cartoon montage of people from different backgrounds and cultures
Figure 4 Engaging citizens

This understanding of shared power is fundamental to the ways in which inter-organisational collaboration has grown and developed over the last 20 years, with a proliferation of ‘partnerships’, ‘integrated services’, joint working groups and opportunities for voluntary organisations and citizen groups to participate in co-producing public services, determining local priorities and influencing the future development of communities.