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Analyses of interorganizational relationships among community mental health organizations in Kitimat and Terrace, British Columbia (1975)

This study is, in part, a product of the efforts of the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District Health Care Research Project (1975). During the course of this project interviews with representatives of local health care organizations were held in order to inventory the kinds and numbers of health care services in the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District.
In assessing the roles of health care organizations in Kitimat and Terrace, British Columbia it became apparent that a number of community mental health organizations in these two centres were experiencing varying degrees of success and/or frustrations in attempting to meet their organizational goals. In attempting to analyse these experiences it became evident that they were frequently described in terms of the activities and decisions of other organizations. It was also considered that individual organizations had unique characteristics of an internal nature which were also seen to affect the relative success they had in meeting their goals. The question then arose as to the possibility of analysing community mental health services in Kitimat and Terrace in terms of the interrelationships of the organizations which were providing these services. This was seen to be a reasonable approach to the problem of analysis in that the specific intent of the research project from which this study emanated was to provide an inventory of local health care services. In considering the methodology for the analysis of these inter-organizational relationships a review of the literature showed that there had been three basic approaches to organizational research used to analyse organizational behaviour. These approaches were, in order of their development, analysis of an organization as a single unit in terms of its internal characteristics; analysis of an organization in terms of its relationships with other organizations and, analysis, as a unit, of a group of organizations which have recurrent interactions with one another. It was determined that each of these forms of analysis could be utilized in the context of the community mental health organizations located in Kitimat and Terrace. This approach has important implications from a planning point of view in that it affords analyses of benefit to planners and administrators of individual organizations within the context of their own organization's internal framework and within the context of the overall activities of other organizations with which they interact. Further more, it provides an advantageous perspective to authorities in central planning organizations as they attempt to coordinate activities of organizations under their jurisdiction. Five specific variables were selected to facilitate the analysis of inter-organizational relationships at each of the three levels. These variables were: resources; power, organizational autonomy; domain consensus; and inter-organizational coordination.
The analyses showed that each of the three levels offer unique opportunities to view the interrelationships between and/or among organizations. It was also illustrated that the third level of analysis was an abstract concept that required further development before it could be clearly differentiated from the other levels. The five variables selected to analyse the interrelationships at each level exhibited varying degrees of relevance to the analysis. The main observation was that, although there was some overlap in their application to specific issues which were discussed, the five variables were able to satisfactorily address any factors which were seen to affect inter-organizational relationships at each of the three levels.
Overall, the three level approach to analysis of organizational exchange relationships was suggested to be an appropriate method for central planning agencies to better coordinate the activities of organizations under their jurisdiction. / Medicine, Faculty of / Population and Public Health (SPPH), School of / Unknown
Date January 1979
CreatorsCollier, Thomas William
Source SetsUniversity of British Columbia
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeText, Thesis/Dissertation
RightsFor non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use

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