Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
Topics
Discussion
Announcements

Crafting Legitimacy in District–Community Partnerships


by Kimberly Lechasseur — 2017

Background/Context: Partnering across districts, schools, and other community organizations has become ubiquitous as a policy for promoting change. Despite growing attention to and scholarship on district–community partnerships, there is little examination of the organizational mechanisms involved in sustaining them.

Purpose/Objectives: This study examines the ways in which district–community partnerships establish and sustain legitimacy with multiple constituencies over time. Drawing on institutional theory, these analyses extend current theories of legitimation by describing the legitimacy-building events of districts and their community partners as they craft partnerships over time.

Research Design: I used a qualitative multi-case-study design to build grounded theory based on three district–community partnerships. Interviews with partnership leaders, focus groups with governance team members, and observations were collected between 2012 and 2014. Thematic analysis was conducted within and across the three cases to identify legitimacy-building activities.

Findings/Results: Five mechanisms for building legitimacy emerged across the three district–community partnerships: funder endorsement, attention to reciprocity, service provision, dedicated formal staff roles, and a systems-building approach. Each mechanism was deployed across the stages of partnership (e.g., identity formation, recruitment, sustainability). These mechanisms were used to leverage legitimacy with one stakeholder group to build new legitimacy with other stakeholder groups, creating complex chains of legitimacy across partners over time.

Conclusions/Recommendations: The findings extend current research on both legitimacy frameworks and the use of community partnerships in education reform. Themes across cases highlight the recursive nature of legitimacy during the recruitment of new partners, how partnerships can build legitimacy across cultural divides, and the role of external funders in supporting legitimacy building across multiple sets of stakeholders.



To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase Crafting Legitimacy in District–Community Partnerships
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 119 Number 12, 2017, p. -
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21975, Date Accessed: 10/20/2017 3:51:16 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
 
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Kimberly Lechasseur
    University of Connecticut
    E-mail Author
    KIMBERLY LECHASSEUR is an assistant research professor in educational leadership at the Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut. Her scholarship focuses on partnerships across education organizations within and beyond public school systems, with a particular interest in how educators make sense of policy, data, and research as they work to create more equitable education systems.
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue

Submit
EMAIL

Twitter

RSS