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The Six Dilemmas of Collaboration Jim Bryant Sheffield Hallam University.

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1 The Six Dilemmas of Collaboration Jim Bryant Sheffield Hallam University

2 Your every day involves countless collaborations

3 but collaborations fail In corporate relationships: Only 60% of alliances last for more than 4 years; less than 20% survive a decade (Doorley, 1993) Alliances have a median lifespan of 7 years; 80% of joint ventures end in a sale by one of the partners (Bleeke & Ernst, 1995)

4 What goes wrong? Internal tensions: divergent aspirations, free-riding, ‘grab it and run’; hidden agendas; history; language and procedures; leadership External pressures: irresistible temptations, specific demands

5 The key Better management of relationships …. and every relationship involves two things at once a physical interaction a psychological interaction

6 Twin aspects of engagement

7 Every interaction has a physical and a psychological side Shall I let her cross? Shall I step out?

8 Possibilities


10 Thinks… I’ll stop if I think she’s going to step out [as is better than ], but I’ll drive on otherwise [as is better than ] He looks rational. He’ll stop if I step out. But I must show him I’m going to step out

11 but maybe… I’m not stopping for any ****** pedestrians! He looks mad! I’ll wait for him to pass People take advantage of you if you are predictably rational

12 It’s a fine day as Arthur tootles along Paragon Road on his rounds, listening to a playful Irish voice on his radio. Beryl, strolling through the dappled sunlight, reaches the crossing. Perhaps... If the characters’ continue in their present intentions, most likely Arthur will stop, Beryl will hesitate, both will smile awkwardly... After you. No, after you, I insist! They’re so polite they could be there for ever!

13 Positions How fortunate! Arthur and Beryl’s positions are compatible My position is what I would have you believe that I want to happen

14 Confrontation Oh dear! Arthur and Beryl’s positions are not compatible The Fallback is what will happen if all characters press their case in this way Each will try to press the other to abandon their position and accept its own. It does this by declaring an action it intends (which may be seen by the other as a threat or a promise) If both Arthur and Beryl are intransigent... then sadly this is the Fallback

15 Facing dilemmas Arthur and Beryl both prefer the other’s Position to the Fallback They therefore find it impossible convincingly to reject the other’s Position. They’re both under pressure to accept the other’s Position rather than cause the Fallback. Arthur would rather stop than knock Beryl over (he’d lose his licence) and Beryl would rather wait than be injured (she’d hate it in hospital) Six Dilemmas of Collaboration Both face what is termed a Rejection Dilemma. This is one of the Six Dilemmas of Collaboration

16 Handling dilemmas Dilemmas make you feel uncomfortable! Arthur or Beryl could eliminate their Rejection Dilemmas by: accepting the other’s position (but they’ll need to do this in a conciliatory way if they’re to be believed) strengthening their belief in their own threats (but they’ll show reluctance, suggesting that the other has driven them to aggression) seek to develop a shared position based on common interests As we now leave Beryl to cross the road (in an appropriate emotional state), we should note that Rejection Dilemmas are common in faltering merger talks, in unhappy supply chains, in R&D cooperation and many other collaborative situations.

17 Generic Dilemmas These dilemmas of collaboration are generic Other examples: Keeping a cease fire Maintaining a trade agreement (e.g. Russians adhering to he OPEC line) Sharing trade secrets

18 How do you help others to trust you? Make a unilateral commitment e.g. destroy your own ability to renege Come to prefer the commitment to the temptation but accompany this with positive emotion else they will not believe your incredible promise reassure them that you are not being deceitful by using rational arguments in the common interest

19 I benefit by reneging from my solution - so why should you think I would implement it? You benefit by reneging from our mutual solution - so why should I trust you? I’d rather not carry out my threat - so how can I use it to pressure you? You’d rather carry out your threat than take my solution - so how can I deter you? I’d rather adopt your solution than carry out my threat - so how can I persuade you to my view? I’d rather adopt your solution that implement my own - so how can I attract you to my solution?

20 Why Six Dilemmas? My Position Your Position Fallback Our Position Co-operation Positioning Persuasion Threat Trust Rejection

21 Drama Theory Drama theory is a theory of human interaction, upon which the technique of confrontation analysis is based DT is a generalisation of game theory, in which the game changes under internal pressures Drama theory shows how, through these changes, the frame and characters stances may be transformed until they arrive at a totally satisfactory solution.

22 Dramatic Resolution The resolution of differences is a key aim of human interaction Drama theory offers a model for the rational/emotional process of difference resolution The model is both normative (showing the ‘normal’, natural pathway) and descriptive, revealing common pathologies

23 Those involved (individuals, groups, organisations, alliances) are the characters in the drama Characters interact and confront each other. Episodes unfold where they negotiate a way forward Seeing collaboration as drama

24 Using Drama Theory situation observe reflect frame debate plan act brief simulations training preparation theory of conflict and collaboration confrontation management system

25 Relationship Management Model shows full agreement. Changes are made Model contains dilemmas. Confrontation strategies are explored

26 An Approach to Partnership Development

27 How an I.D. is set up The situation is scoped and key stakeholders are identified Stakeholders are interviewed (often in focus groups) to capture their views, using the drama theory framework as a guide to questions A broad model of stakeholder interaction over issues is produced, and an appropriate sub-set of these is chosen for the I.D. Analyses of each interaction are completed following a principle of requisite modelling A fictionalised version of the real-world situation is constructed and shaped into briefings for role-players

28 Enactment Typically, teams role-play key actors in the situation. Each team works from its own drama briefing, which is its character’s mental model of what is happening Negotiation between ‘actors’ then occurs, actions are chosen and the case updated as appropriate.

29 An I.D. Briefing tells you: Your character’s background, values and aspirations How your character sees other characters’ backgrounds, values, aspirations, etc. What ‘bones of contention’ currently exercise you and: who else is concerned; what they can do about it; what solution they propose and what fallback they wield

30 What happens in an I.D.? Characters size up their predicament and decide in what interactions they must participate Interactions (e.g. meetings, announcements) take place; these alter character’s stances, often in unexpected ways Issues are resolved, but others may thereby be created

31 How is an I.D. organised? Participants assimilate their Briefings ‘Characters’ have their own workspaces They arrange to meet in a booked room Each meeting moves the process along The process ends at a pre- determined time or when certain issues have been resolved Meeting Room Presentation Room Noticeboard Character Workspace

32 ID Debrief In Role Were you happy with the agreements reached? Were you confident that any agreements would be kept? Why? What feelings did you have towards others as the process unfolded? How do you see the future for your character? Out of Role Did the process suggest any general principles or questions about collaboration? What comments do you have about the process?

33 Immersive Drama the experience of confrontation Captures participants’ attention, thoughts and efforts and involves their feelings Gives participants the experience of functioning in a bona fide role and encountering the consequences of their actions Other role players provide the complexity and realism that cannot be provided in static case study materials Provides direct and immediate feedback and learning to the individual as well as feeding back implications for the organisation

34 Successful Collaboration Managing relationships is about: addressing the dramatic interaction in which one is immersed developing an effective relationship management strategy recognising the knock-on effects of resolutions upon linked confrontations

35 Drama theory: sources Look at these websites: Read these: The Six Dilemmas of Collaboration: interorganisational relationships as drama by Jim Bryant (Wiley, 2003) Confrontation Analysis by Nigel Howard (from, 1999) chapters on DT in Rational Analysis for a Problematic World Revisited edited by Jonathan Rosenhead & John Mingers (Wiley, 2001) Keep in touch with me:

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