Would you care to dance? choosing health care quality alliance partners for quality education

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The purpose of this paper is to describe The George Washington University (GWU) and The National Collaborative for Quality Assurance (NCQA) partnership to offer the first online Health Care Quality master's degree and certificate program portfolio in the United States. We analyze the transition events prior to the 2010 formal establishment of the program and the positive identity construction efforts that occurred between members of the two organizations, as they collaborated to establish a new identity and a favorable reputation for the online program. We expand the theoretical framework proposed by Dutton, Roberts, and Bednar (2010) - which outlines four distinct positive identity perspectives, namely virtue, evaluative, developmental, and structural - to suggest that these perspectives may also effectively describe an organizational level framework for analyzing partnerships. We employed a qualitative design that utilized one-on-one interviews as the principal method of interaction with study subjects and developed a crosswalk of ideas, perceptions, and insights using verbatim statements from GWU and NCQA. We also discuss the theoretical, research and practical implications that are potential benefits of considering the expanded framework and the parallel connection to a constructive pathway to organizational partnerships for higher education in health care quality. (abstract from a4hi.org)


Case No. AHI 0110