Inter-organizational cooperation: A rehabilitation project based on cooperation between health care and three social service agencies


Purpose: Cooperation between organizations is an often-suggested remedy for handling unsolved borderland problems. However, actual projects aiming at cooperation are seldom very successful. The purpose here is to highlight obstacles related to cooperation between different organizations based on a case study of a rehabilitation project where health care and several social service organizations (social insurance, social welfare, and the local employment agency) were involved. Data were gathered through participation and interviews. Findings: It seems that efficient cooperation requires an understanding of the participating organizations’ differences in work logic as well as work practices. Furthermore, only certain fairly standardized “normal” problems may be handled through organized cooperation while non-routine exceptional problem requires a more fully integrated work organization. Implications: Obstacles to cooperation are highlighted and ways to improve the possibilities of cooperation between organizations are suggested although such possibilities are generally hampered by differences in work logic.

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Rudenstam, N. and Holmberg, L. (2014) Inter-organizational cooperation: A rehabilitation project based on cooperation between health care and three social service agencies. Health, 6, 342-349. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.65050.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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