AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT: A RURAL COMMUNITY’S JOURNEY TO CROSS-SECTOR AGENCY COLLABORATION
Bringing a community together for the purpose of healing creates a vision of hope. Translating this hope into a commitment for change requires intentional action and consistent reflection. Few models detail such a transformational process with cross-sector partners in a rural community. This study hoped to enrich the knowledge base, while contributing to my own leadership. This project presented opportunities for local community collaboration; tying cross-agency organizations to a singular focus: the local impact of trauma. The overarching research question, “To what extent can cross-sector collaboration lead to enhanced services for families and children impacted by trauma?” The qualitative data collected included meeting agendas, artifacts and minutes, interviews, surveys, reflection memos, and email correspondence. Analysis of these, generated three main themes: (1) enacting trauma-informed principles creates an optimal space for adult learning; (2) contextualizing trauma created a catalyst for working cross-sector; and (3) relationships sustain professionals and enable transformation. Recasting through existing frameworks for trauma-informed principles (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services [SAMHSA], 2014), relational trust (Bryk & Schneider, 2002), and organizational leadership frames (Bolman & Deal, 1991) broadened the perspective, looking at changes in practice, my own leadership, and in relational to participants. The project’s findings included strong evidence of changes in my leadership and in the strength of the relational network among participants. Sightings of cross-sector collaboration were rising. While this study leaves much for future discovery, the transformation of organizational networks and the emerging community benefits indicate positive implications for future practice, research, and policy.
Combs, Esther. (June 2020). AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT: A RURAL COMMUNITY’S JOURNEY TO CROSS-SECTOR AGENCY COLLABORATION (Doctoral Dissertation, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/8575.)
Combs, Esther. AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT: A RURAL COMMUNITY’S JOURNEY TO CROSS-SECTOR AGENCY COLLABORATION. Doctoral Dissertation. East Carolina University, June 2020. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/8575. March 01, 2021.
Combs, Esther, “AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT: A RURAL COMMUNITY’S JOURNEY TO CROSS-SECTOR AGENCY COLLABORATION” (Doctoral Dissertation., East Carolina University, June 2020).
Combs, Esther. AUTHENTIC ENGAGEMENT: A RURAL COMMUNITY’S JOURNEY TO CROSS-SECTOR AGENCY COLLABORATION [Doctoral Dissertation]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; June 2020.
East Carolina University