Mental health network governance: comparative analysis across Canadian regions.

TitleMental health network governance: comparative analysis across Canadian regions.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsWiktorowicz ME, MJ Fleury, Adair CE, Lesage A, Goldner E, Peters S
JournalInt J Integr Care
Date Published2010 Oct 26

OBJECTIVE: Modes of governance were compared in ten local mental health networks in diverse contexts (rural/urban and regionalized/non-regionalized) to clarify the governance processes that foster inter-organizational collaboration and the conditions that support them.METHODS: Case studies of ten local mental health networks were developed using qualitative methods of document review, semi-structured interviews and focus groups that incorporated provincial policy, network and organizational levels of analysis.RESULTS: Mental health networks adopted either a corporate structure, mutual adjustment or an alliance governance model. A corporate structure supported by regionalization offered the most direct means for local governance to attain inter-organizational collaboration. The likelihood that networks with an alliance model developed coordination processes depended on the presence of the following conditions: a moderate number of organizations, goal consensus and trust among the organizations, and network-level competencies. In the small and mid-sized urban networks where these conditions were met their alliance realized the inter-organizational collaboration sought. In the large urban and rural networks where these conditions were not met, externally brokered forms of network governance were required to support alliance based models.DISCUSSION: In metropolitan and rural networks with such shared forms of network governance as an alliance or voluntary mutual adjustment, external mediation by a regional or provincial authority was an important lever to foster inter-organizational collaboration.

Alternate JournalInt J Integr Care
PubMed ID21289999
PubMed Central IDPMC3031794