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The role of social capital in sustaining partnership

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Partnership is a dominant theme in education policy and practice in England and in other western countries but remains relatively under-researched, especially with respect to what sustains a partnership. This article draws on a study of partnership working in the field of post-16 learning that revealed the role of dimensions of social capital in supporting and sustaining the case study partnership. The research adopted a grounded approach and used multiple methods of data gathering including observations of partnership meetings, semi-structured interviews and documentary research. The findings reported here focus on aspects of partnership working and facets of social capital that support and sustain partnership, including multiple layers of collaboration, networks and networking, high levels of trust and shared norms and values amongst key participants. The analysis suggests that the contested concept of social capital provides a useful theoretical frame for understanding the basis of sustainability in education partnerships.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Wolverhampton, UK

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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