Collaboration means working in conjunction with others. It fundamentally means cooperation between individuals and organization towards a common endeavor. Collaboration can involve power and coercion, the ability to force outcomes and to impose preferences on another. It also involves the process of negotiation, preparedness and making tradeoff. Therefore, conceptually, there two essential dimension of collaboration that traverse differently and continually. First is the scale of collaboration and second, is the purpose behind the collaborative activity. The degree of collaboration normally categories pattern of activity that is neither intended nor evident (Stillman, 2010). It focuses on what levels of collaborative activity are superficial and how wide are the dimension of collaboration management. Since collaboration does not occur in a vacuum, it’s normally essential to consider the purpose, motivation of the actors seeking to collaborate. A set of possible intentions and motivation normally provides a wide range of contrasting approaches that include power dimension, commitment level and strategic dimension among others (Stillman, 2010).
The city government of Philadelphia intervened to accelerate the availability of low-cost, reliable wireless Internet access throughout the city. The intervention can be framed as the use of technology by the government to promote social change and reduce disparity. To achieve this desire, the city played a major role of being a catalyst and taking on a variety of roles, such as facilitator, steering committee, champions, policy maker, coordinator, partners, consultant, referee, project manager, capacity builder and regulator. It removed barriers to resources and provided incentives and a legislative framework to give stability to the new infrastructure.
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The city government needed to manage the demands and challenges of different stakeholders, including telecommunications companies, civic leaders, community groups, the media, state government, city politicians, and the public.
In the city of Philadelphia, 40% of the population is nonusers of the Internet. This can be serious repercussions for the economic, political, educational, and social future of that city. This prompted the government of Philadelphia to address the access problem and create a municipal wireless network (MWN) to provide affordable, reliable, and high-speed Internet access. Goals and the requirements of stakeholders were identified leading to key policy issues addressed. Then the application of MWN was identified and the selection of underlying infrastructure technology was done, management model to build and operate the network was specified and finally, the network was built. The drivers of the Municipal Wireless Networks were technology availability, availability of market opportunity, historical precedent and policy imperative, legislative approval and socioeconomic potential (Stillman, 2010).
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