Value enhanced collaborative working: case study of a small management advisory firm
2011-03-14T14:04:55Z (GMT) by
This paper seeks to propose a conceptual framework to promote value-enhanced collaborative working (VECW) for a small management advisory firm. The research methodology was qualitative. It involved a comprehensive review of literature leading to a better understanding of collaborative working requirements in a small firm context and the barriers to derive value from collaborative working. Initially, exploratory observations helped to identify issues of collaborative working in the case study organisation. Following the exploratory observations, a detailed case study was undertaken. The emphasis was on semi-structured interviews under a guiding questionnaire along with field observations to produce a conceptual framework for VECW. The research enables an understanding of the apparent failure of a particular small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) management advisory firm (case study organisation) to derive value from its collaborative working model. The study identifies major issues that affect the long-term relationships of the organisation with their collaborating stakeholders and recognises the common understanding required by the stakeholders working in collaboration. Further, in order to solve these issues, the research develops a conceptual VECW framework within the current context. The major components of the conceptual VECW framework consist of process, people and tools factors to give a structured approach to agree common goals, share risks and rewards, provide faster and clearer communications and information transparency between collaborating stakeholders. Owing to the nature of the study (case study), current paper is based on the findings of a single SME management advisory firm. Hence, further research for organisations of similar size and providing similar services would be required to investigate the robustness of the approach. Most studies on collaboration are concentrated on either larger organisations or product organisations. Here, the attempt is to understand the collaboration among small firms providing professional services. The research paper is an important milestone on an ongoing research to produce a detailed framework eventually to be presented to the industry for evaluation to ensure its contribution to the industry as well as increasing the knowledge on the subject.