Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Educational Leadership, Primary Healthcare, System Change


This organizational improvement plan (OIP) considers the experience of an Ontario family health team whose growing portfolio of partnerships requires evidence-based structure. A brief review of the literature suggests that partnerships are best understood as social constructs, shared spaces that are co-created through the multiple perspectives of their contributors. Synthesis of competing perspectives, integration, is a recurring theme throughout the OIP. Two well-known organizational change models are integrated to create a system change model (SCM) more applicable to the system-level change inherent to healthcare partnerships and this OIP. SCM is supported by an integrated approach to leadership, the incorporation of two leadership theories that value different types of relationships, one within systems (complexity), and the other between people (authentic). Four potential solutions are presented, and a preferred option identified: adopting and adapting a partnership framework for multi-sectoral collaboration by integrating Relational Coordination where communication and relationship-building could support task integration across partner organizations. A test of change partnership using one of the family health team’s most ambitious collaborations is identified, and a supporting change implementation plan described using the SCM framework. The OIP was authored during a time of significant transformation in Ontario’s healthcare system, sometimes giving the writing process the feel of field reporting. As such, it is likely that the healthcare landscape will change again, rendering the concepts of this OIP more applicable to the author’s practice than any specifics in the implementation plan.