The Collaborative Learning Project conducted an action research program in the City of Los Angeles between 2003 and 2006, in which researchers facilitated a collaborative process between recently created neighborhood councils and city departments of council choosing. In two cases conducted, the patterns of administrative responsiveness to the neighborhood councils differed substantially. This dissertation asks: How can we explain the patterns of administrator responsiveness observed in each of two cases of collaboration between administrators and neighborhood council representatives? To answer the question, an exploratory assessment of each case was conducted from multiple emergent perspectives using an inductive analysis. Data from semi-structured interviews, open-ended email questionnaires, and participant-observation notes were analyzed. Findings from each case and across both cases are considered, and propositions are offered for future, more systematic study of bureaucratic responsiveness in a collaborative process. Differences emerged between cases in the following category areas: communication-how, roles/responsibilities, current interaction, role of elected officials, prioritization/problem definition, funding/budget/resource allocation, and CLP evaluation. Research participants made statements that define how they perceive their role and the role the other party, how they interact with each other, the influence of elected officials, and their assessment of the overall process and people with the process. The differences between cases can be summarized with the following sentence. Agency officials in one case actively sought partnership with neighborhood council participants and an active role for them in the decision-making process; agency officials in the other case instead focused on their expert, service delivery role, and were cautious about involving neighborhood councils directly in decision-making.
- neighborhood councils,
- bureaucratic responsiveness,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/thomasbryer/7/