Building academic-community linkages for health promotion: a case study in Massachusetts

Am J Health Promot. Mar-Apr 1996;10(4):262-9. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-10.4.262.


Using select practice variables from Rothman's typology of models of community organization, this case study of the Massachusetts Community-Based Public Health Consortium analyses potential sources of conflict in collaborations between academic institutions and community coalitions. Based on different socialization experiences and organizational expectations, the goals, assumptions, basic change strategies, salient practitioner roles, conceptions of the client population, and client roles of the respective organizations were found to differ between these two partners and to be a source of chronic, unproductive tensions in consortium deliberations. The article concludes with recommendations for facilitating the development of more mutually trustworthy academic-community linkages to achieve public health promotion goals. These recommendations include (1) developing a greater awareness of the respective kinds of assumptions academic and community partners are likely to bring into new partnerships and (2) developing a more highly integrated model of community-based public health that capitalizes on the strengths of both the social planning and locality development approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Health Personnel
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Power, Psychological
  • Role
  • Social Planning
  • Universities* / organization & administration