Research Output

Promoting ‘strategic’ working within area based and thematic Social Inclusion Partnerships in Scotland.

  Fundamental to the historical development of partnership working as an approach to managing neighbourhood regeneration has been a concern to promote `strategic' working practices. However, there has been a distinct lack of conceptual clarity within both policy and practice over the meaning of `strategic' working within local partnerships. This paper outlines three broad conceptual approaches to understanding `strategic' working as: a plan of action, as changing organisational practices, and as multi-level organisational collaboration. Drawing on data from Social Inclusion Partnerships in Scotland the paper explores the relevance of these three approaches to strategic working to the practices of these Partnerships. The paper highlights that, contrary to a policy rhetoric promoting organisational change and collaboration, a relatively limited outputs focus has dominated regeneration practice. With pressure on SIPs to spend time-limited budgets and fill gaps in services, a tension emerges between the goals of delivering services and co-ordinating the activities of partner agencies. It is argued here that it is challenging for these localised Partnerships to try to take on both of these goals simultaneously. It is recommended that a more realistic approach is taken with regard to the potential role played by local regeneration partnerships in being `strategic'


MacPherson, S. (2006). Promoting ‘strategic’ working within area based and thematic Social Inclusion Partnerships in Scotland. Local economy. 21, 180-196. doi:10.1080/02690940600608317. ISSN 1470-9325


strategic working; regeneration; partnership working; Social Inclusion partnerships; Scotland;

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