Enacting educational partnership: collective identity, decision-making (and the importance of muffin chat)



Watson C & Drew V (2017) Enacting educational partnership: collective identity, decision-making (and the importance of muffin chat). School Leadership and Management, 37 (1-2), pp. 3-18.

The rhetoric of partnership is ubiquitous in the current policy context. In education, partnerships take a number of forms among which is ‘interorganizational collaboration’ (IOC), defined as a partnership between institutions/organizations aimed at developing synergistic solutions to complex problems. But policy has a tendency to veneer, obscuring its enactment. The purpose of this paper is therefore to examine what such partnerships look like on the ground. Here we present an empirical analysis which aims to produce knowledge about the working of such collaborative groups and to provide insights into leadership within such partnerships. Drawing on communicative constitution of organizations (CCO) operationalised within a schema for understanding the emergence of collective identity in IOC, we undertake an analysis of meetings held by a working group comprising academics and local authority staff set up to develop masters level work-based professional learning for teachers. We ask, how do professionals working within different contexts create a collective identity that supports decision making, and what are the implications for leadership?

communicative constitution of organizations (CCO); collaborative working; critical colleague; interorganizational collaboration (IOC); laughter in meetings; leadership; organization; professional learning

School Leadership and Management: Volume 37, Issue 1-2

FundersScottish Government
Publication date31/12/2017
Publication date online18/07/2016
Date accepted by journal30/06/2016
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (2)


Dr Valerie Drew

Dr Valerie Drew

Lecturer in Education Leadership, Education

Professor Cate Watson

Professor Cate Watson

Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences