Collaboration and Social Capital

Building and maintaining collaborative partnerships in public health is an essential part of
public health leadership. Describe how collaboration can serve as a way to build social
capital. Discuss two examples of challenges that can arise from collaborations in public
health and describe specific qualities and characteristics a public health leader could
exhibit to overcome these challenges in collaboration. In replies to peers, provide additional
strategies for overcoming the example challenges.

Collaboration and Social Capital

Collaboration has over the years, become an increasingly common practice. It is
necessary for the removal of barriers that patients face for all of them to thrive health-wise. The
social capital concept has been able to manifest itself in many ways since it continues to be used
to give more in-depth insights into the political, social as well as economic behaviours of
humans. As people get to interact with each other in collaborative work environments, they get
to build some work identity. In addition to the establishment of various work norms, they also
get to trust each other more in addition to committing to benefit each other more often. Due to
this, stronger civic awareness arises, which subsequently leads to an increased level of political
alignments, keenness to their governing in addition to economic development.
The main challenges that can arise due to collaboration in public health are the
misunderstanding of the various roles and responsibilities of the professional identities involved.
When there is great prior knowledge of the other collaborators work as well as the
acknowledgement and recognition of their particular areas of expertise, respect is upheld.
Collaboration is thus, useful in this case. The other barrier would be as a result of the failure to
acknowledge the differences in culture. To solve this, mutual respect of each other’s culture
should apply at all times (Steihaug, Johannessen, Ådnanes, M, & Mannion, 2016) .

To overcome these challenges in collaboration, health leaders should exhibit empathy,
generosity, curiosity, flexibility, discipline and be self-motivated and without ego. This is mainly
because great partnerships begin with the individuals themselves. Developing the attributes
above will ensure that other team members will strive to have you on their side. For the peer
challenge of unequal shares of risks between partners in a collaborative environment, finer
agreement contracts can be designed and drafted between the collaborative teams to outline
every member of the roles and responsibilities of the collaboration clearly.


Steihaug, S., Johannessen, A.-K., Ådnanes, M, P. B., & Mannion, R. (2016, July 18). Challenges
in Achieving Collaboration in Clinical Practice: The Case of Norwegian Health Care.
International Journal of Integrated Care, 1-3.