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Sustainable collaboration in care

Joint production motivation and interprofessional learning in an interorganizational network
PhD ceremony:T.P. (Thomas) Teekens, MSc
When:April 18, 2024
Supervisor:R.P.M. (Rafael) Wittek, Prof
Co-supervisors:F. (Francesca) Giardini, PhD, dr. J. Zuidersma
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Sustainable collaboration in care

In a complex and interconnected world, more and more organizations are collaborating with each other to deal with a variety of societal problems. Such collaborations are called interorganizational networks, and they are increasingly common in many domains of society. However, collaboration across organizational boundaries is not always easy, and a major question is how interorganizational networks can be sustainable over time. This dissertation explores the sustainability of interorganizational networks by studying NetwerkZON, an interorganizational network operating in the health care sector in the North of the Netherlands. The health care sector, under pressure of aging populations, decreasing labor forces, and increasingly complex care situations, is in dire need of skilled workers. NetwerkZON is a network of educational institutions and health care organizations, who jointly develop and coordinate internship programs to offer a broad variety of high-quality internships in the region. In four studies, this dissertation sheds light on several aspects of the collaboration in this interorganizational network. How have the employees of the different organizations managed to work together for over two decades? How do students learn from professionals from different disciplines in their internships? What happened to the interns during the covid-19 pandemic, and what consequences did the pandemic have for the resilience of internship organizations? This dissertation highlights how the sustainability of interorganizational networks depends on the motivation of different participants to create joint value. By creating the correct conditions for such joint production motivation and by nurturing interprofessional learning, interorganizational collaboration can be sustainable over time.