Inderscience Publishers

Sustainable cross–sector collaboration by the centre of excellence - an evaluation of the expectations by case study

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Partnerships, alliances and other forms of inter–organisational collaborative arrangements are now a commonplace part of institutional life. One type of collaborative arrangement is the centre of excellence (CoE) concept. Despite aspirations to the contrary, there is substantial evidence that collaboration often fails to meet the expectations of those involved. In this paper, we empirically evaluate the expectations of the CoE concept's support for sustainable cross–sector collaboration in the field of defence. The theoretical focus of this paper is collaboration and the research method is the case study. The findings presented in this paper suggest that multi–sector organisations engaged in collaborative CoE, such as NEPRO, expect the collaboration to benefit one's own organisation and that the benefits should be concrete, such as new innovations. Surprisingly, few respondents see that increases in trust and common understanding are prerequisites for more tangible results.

Keywords: sustainable collaboration, centres of excellence, CoE, cross–sector collaboration, success factors, expectation, evaluation, case study, defence, innovation, trust, understanding

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