The pivotal mechanism for a partnership to make the shift fromadversarial to collaborative interaction is trust.
Trust has an internal andexternal component. Internal trust builds on a belief in the positiveintentions of the partners, but also on their competences to contribute avaluable input to the partnership. External trust relates to the expectedpositive reactions in the broader networks the partners are part of (Nooteboom,2006). Trust will not be created spontaneously but must be managed. Conditionsto facilitate trust encompass creating a minimal structure and ground rules toprovide security, equity, and fairness. Initial trust is an enabling factor forsuccessful partnering. But trust is not created once and for all, Buildingtrust is a social process that needs to be managed, maintained and supported bypositive experiences, both internally and externally, throughout the wholepartnering process (Glasbergen,2011)According toGlasbergen’s paper, exploring collaborative advantage is the second rung of thecollaborative process ladder. It is logical for any entity to be able to seesome form of advantage in a collaboration that would make it take steps towardsforming one.
There is naturally a lot of effort and resources required informing partnerships and for an actor to take up this process requires thatthey identify an advantage which would not be possible without the help of thepartners and they identify the collaboration as fair and unbiased.Additionally, actors often have fundamentally different roles and core valuesin society. The collaboration process leads to role conflict as the collectivegoal of a collaboration may not be completely in line with an individualactors. For example, for a business, economic profit is the main driving force.
For a business, joining a collaboration that works to protect the environment,there would have to be a distinct advantage. For each partner, theopportunities should outweigh the risks (Glasbergen, 2011).When trust and the reciprocal relationship are somewhat developed,partners can make a contract with which partners state that they formallyinvest in each other. The contract can comprise a set of rules, mutualobligations, problem definitions and how the partnership interacts with otherorganizations.
It also contains the decision-making processes, monitoring, andenforcement. Contracts require some form of trust and stability between theactors. Glasbergen correctly states that there always need to be some form oftrust to formalize a partnership. Contracts can be more rule-based thanprinciple based and one will be more extensive than another contract, but therealways will be some formalization. The contract in a partnership will not bedifferent from a normal contract, except for free-riding. This usually resultsin expulsion from the partnership.
This can cause credibility and socialscrutiny for the expulsed member (Glasbergen, 2011).