Determining tactics that influence partners in the creation of an interagency information sharing system

Partnership working is increasing dramatically in the public sector in the UK. Partly as a result of reduced funding (as part of government budget cuts) but also as a reaction to the increasing realisation that sharing information improves the service individual partners can provide. This brings a new paradigm to sharing information for non-competitive purposes. To achieve the partnership aim of providing a better service each partner must attempt to put aside their normal ways of working (i.e. protecting their information) and attempt to produce an information sharing system where information can be shared legally, purposefully and in a timely manner. This paradigm is in most cases new to the organisations involved and their approach to the level of influence they have in a partnership to produce a system can be challenging. This paper forms part of a larger research project, researching how public sector agencies can share information more effectively. The goal of the research is to develop a model for partnership information sharing, which models the outcomes of decisions made during the development stages of the system and how these have affected the overall acceptance and success of the system. The paper provides a classification of encouragement tactics which partners in a public sector partnership can utilise when implementing a new information sharing system to achieve their own objectives. The encouragement tactics classification helps to both clarify the concepts of power and influence by providing a clear distinction between the terms and bridge the terms by combining them in a single classification. This approach of a unifying classification has not previously been attempted and further work is required to validate the classification proposed in this paper. The classification has been created from participant observation of the creation of a trailblazing information sharing system between the police and councils (districts, county and city) to improve their ability to handle antisocial behaviour.