Leadership in an interorganizational collaboration: A qualitative study of a statewide interagency taskforce


The increased reliance on interorganizational collaborations (ICs) has created new challenges for leaders. They must attempt to apply leadership theories and behaviors developed primarily for leading within one organization or group to leading collaborations of multiple organizations and stakeholders. To provide insight into this issue, this study examines leadership behavior in an IC developing a strategic plan to promote changes to address public health and safety concerns related to substance abuse. Combining observations and interviews, we followed a statewide interagency taskforce in a southwestern state of the United States from its inception through completion of its strategic plan within a 10-month deadline. Findings show different leadership behaviors were integrated and evolved over time to strike a balance between decision-making effectiveness and efficiency. In particular, the findings support recent research on examining leadership behavior holistically to develop a ‘fuller full-range’ leadership perspective (Antonakis and House, 2014), especially in terms of how collectivistic and instrumental leadership should complement transformational leadership, and by demonstrating that the combinations of leadership change over time and occur at multiple levels. These findings provide guidance for future practice and research on ICs promoting change.



Document Type





collectivistic leadership, fuller full-range leadership, instrumental leadership, interorganizational collaboration

Publication Date


Journal Title

Human Relations