The factor – Personal Values, Beliefs, and Attitudes – involves two elements:

    • Willingness to collaborate,
    • Responsiveness to patient and community needs.

Personal values, beliefs, and attitudes have the potential to influence the success of a collaboration. Being willing to collaborate and being responsive to clients’ and community needs through a collaboration are two critical elements in this factor.

Willingness to collaborate can be affected by many values, beliefs, and attitudes. These are explored more fully in the overview of a 2012 study described below.

Types of Viewpoints
Research IconA Canadian study involving people working in policy, practice, research, and education in the public health and primary care sectors has shown that people hold common, as well as, differing viewpoints about collaboration.

Participants were asked to assemble a set of statements developed from research about collaboration on a grid framed by ‘most agree’ and ‘most disagree’ anchors. Using qualitative techniques, the researchers identified different viewpoints related to primary care and public health collaboration which have the potential to influence the success of collaborations.

Considering common, as well as, differing viewpoints can help you in managing the change processes that are part of building and maintaining strong primary care and public health collaboration. As an example, commonly held viewpoints included the belief that a lack of vision, insufficient funding, and different work processes can have a negative effect on collaboration. On the other hand, there was agreement that mutual respect between primary care and public health sectors can have a positive effect on collaboration.

In understanding and recognizing the range of opinions, one can be better prepared to strategize on how to manage and to work with various groups. It may be beneficial to identify on what points most people agree or disagree in your collaboration.

Based on the research, three major viewpoints were named and described as follows:

System Driven Collaborators
Strongly believed that there is the need for having a clear mandate from the top to enable public health, primary care, and the rest of the health system to effectively work together.  For this group, leadership at a systems level is important to “make it happen.”

Cautious Collaborators
Believed that strategies for successful collaboration are focused at the local organizational level, such as consistent dialogue with partners, starting small, and having a memorandum of understanding.

Competent Isolationists
Strongly believed that it is necessary for primary care and public health sectors to spend time to make sure that both parties clearly understand the differences between their sector: This includes a focus of individual care versus population health-based and group-based foci. 


Explore the attitudes and beliefs about collaboration in more depth for each of the above viewpoints. Which one resonates most with your thinking? Which one are you?

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Multiple approaches are needed to address collaborators’ varying viewpoints

Consider addressing concerns people in your collaboration may have, for example:

  • Some people may need to have a strong systemic level mandate for the collaboration,
  • Some people may need to know what the added value of the collaboration will have,
  • Some people may need to have a memorandum of agreement.

Therefore, you may want to explore the three viewpoints with your team members and collaboration partners to gain a better understanding of everyone’s values, beliefs, and attitudes.

Whether you are a competent isolationist, a cautious collaborator, or a system driven collaborator, remember that you also likely share many common viewpoints.

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