Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Blend Gaps through Papers and Meetings? Collaboration between the Social Services and Jobcentres

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Abstract:  The policy word “collaboration” is a political buzzword omnipresent within human service organisations in Sweden and other countries. Collaboration stands for services working together toward a common goal. It is understood as the solution for a multitude of problems, putting the client at the centre and involving the services needed for making them financially self-sufficient. Public service collaboration assumes gaps between entities, whether they are organisations or professionals holding a particular kind of knowledge or available resources. Gaps are seen as omissions and pitfalls in activities which should be removed. My thesis is that putting the gap at the centre reveals not only the disjuncture of the gaps but also the productiveness of the gap in collaborative projects between organisations. The article demonstrates how documents and meetings work both as makers and blenders of gaps between social services and jobcentres. If gaps are productive spaces, what does it denote for collaboration between organisations? The article is placed ethnographically in documents and meetings set to enable collaboration between social workers and job coaches. I will focus on the gap, the space between documents and organisations, as productive spaces in collaborative projects.

Keywords:  documents; gaps; jobcentre; public service collaboration; social services



© Renita Thedvall. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.