Vol 4, No 1, 2005

Collaboration, Consensus and Communion: “Matters of Character and Heart”

Francis W. Devoy

Abstract

Today's business world and catholic church call for effective collaboration. This paper explains that collaboration is a prized way of acting, but is also the outcome of a process. Reaching consensus is a prior step and is achieved when collaborators arrive at a common vision and a common purpose about the nature of their organisation, and about the ministry or work they wish to collaborate in. Drawing on Likert's organisational models and the church's ecclesiology, this paper explains that the church is an authoritative body, exercising the ideals and internal consistency of a consultative/participative organization. Further, the collaborative process only occurs effectively and without dysfunction with this understanding. At the heart of the participative process within the church is the spirituality of communion (communio): a Trinitarian openness and trust, which seek a unique harmony in collaborative relationships and teamwork.