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Public Policy and Administration


William Benet


In 2007 South Carolina funded 15 regional coordinators to work with local law enforcement agencies and alcohol and drug commissions to create 16 community alcohol enforcement teams to improve enforcement of underage drinking laws. Previous researchers have suggested that collaborative leadership is needed for effective teams, yet little is known about the factors that serve as barriers to and facilitators of, collaborative leadership in alcohol enforcement teams. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of coordinators involved in leading the alcohol enforcement teams in South Carolina. The theoretical framework used was Cameron, Quinn, DeGraff, and Thankor's conceptualization of the competing values framework. Data were collected through in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 12 alcohol team coordinators. These data were inductively coded and then subjected to a modified Van Manen and Vagle analysis. Key findings indicate strong support for the idea that existence of positive community relationships and supportive champions from community partners were crucial to building and maintaining successful teams. These findings were consistent with the theoretical framework. Recommendations include implementing leadership and collaboration training for the coordinators and team members. These findings have implications for positive social change by increasing awareness among policy makers about collaborative leadership factors, which in turn could lead to policies that generate more effectual teams, improve enforcement of underage drinking laws, and consequently, result in safer communities.

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