Value enhanced collaborative working (VECW)
2011-06-30T08:46:55Z (GMT) by
In recent years, the service industry has been made aware of the advantages of risk sharing and inter-firm collaborations. In the current turbulent business environment, a large proportion of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) firms rely on collaboration and partnering with other businesses. The value of such collaboration is highly enhanced by pooling resources to help exploit complementarities between the collaborating businesses and significantly increasing performance and management. Many studies have been conducted on the determinants of collaboration success or failures. However, authors have suggested further research to provide a framework to cover the factors responsible for enhanced value within collaborative working. In particular, the susceptibility of SMEs to successfully collaborate is significantly less than that of large organisations. Hence this was the focus of the current study. The research was focused on establishing the value enhancement of collaborative working within ServQ’s, the sponsoring organisation’s, collaborative environment. The main aim of this research project is ‘To investigate the potential of Value-Enhanced Collaborative Working (VECW) in an SME management advisory firm’. The aim was achieved with the help of the development of a VECW framework based on the issues faced by ServQ’s collaborative environment. To achieve this aim, an inductive research approach was adopted; this was facilitated by literature reviews and research methods such as semi-structured interviews, focus groups and scenario planning. This was to ensure that the project was an applied research based on the sound foundations of available theories on collaborative working. The research was initiated with a preliminary case study of the sponsoring organisation to better understand it. This period of initial investigation entailed learning more about the organisation’s management and working culture. Parallel to the initial case study, a literature review helped establish a definition of Value Enhanced Collaborative Working (VECW) as well as a conceptual VECW framework. Three key factors were identified in the conceptual VECW framework; these were considered as three separate but equally important branches that together will create a sustainable longterm collaborative working environment. The first factor identified was the People factor; the main output from this was the development of a Collaboration Charter. The Process factor developed a business process model for ServQ while the Tools factor was established through scenario planning. The output of this research was a development of a VECW framework. The research work progressed chronologically by first developing a conceptual VECW framework followed by the development of each of the People, Process and Tool factors in further detail with the help of mechanisms such as Collaboration Charter and business process models. Eventually the framework recommended how all these three factors together enhance the value of collaboration in ServQ. These outputs established the mechanisms to balance all the three factors within ServQ resulting in development of a sustainable collaboration environment. The research has contributed to knowledge by providing a VECW framework in an industrial setting that can be replicated in similar organisations with required changes. In addition, it complements the wide array of literature pertaining to Collaborative Working, SMEs, services organisations and Value.