Patterns of Trust and Collaboration among Nonprofit Organizations and Health Funds: A Case Study


  • Vered Reiter Association for Children at Risk
  • Shay S. Tzafrir University of Haifa
  • Nathaniel Laor Association for Children at Risk and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University



Trust, Partnership, Health Policy, Social Relationship


The importance of collaboration between organizations, especially in the modern world, has been discussed extensively by researchers from different fields. Yet, the importance of the context, trust dynamics, and the employment social environment, such as the interplay among these factors, i.e., trust, individual behavior, and political behavior, has been less studied. This study evaluates the role of trust in and between organizations on successful collaboration processes. Using qualitative methodology, we interviewed 11 senior directors who were involved in a specific case-study of collaboration among four major organizations as well as direct observation, documentation, and archive records. Our findings emphasize the importance of analyzing multilevel trust, interpolitics, and intrapolitics, even when success is at stake. We suggest that managers have to account for emotional involvement at the individual level, even when successful organizational-level collaboration occurs. Overall, we found that there are two aspects of trust in a collaboration process between organizations: system’s aspect and personal aspect. Each aspect is influenced by various factors, mainly different goals and interest and lack of procedures or regulations (from the system’s aspect) and feelings of vagueness in goals and managerial procedures as well as feelings of exploitation (from the personal aspect). In addition, we found that past acquaintances, mutual experience, and shared visions raise the level of trust, which in turn affects the reciprocal relations and therefore the collaboration process resulting in higher social effectiveness for social services.

Author Biographies

Vered Reiter, Association for Children at Risk

Vered Reiter is the director of clinical outcome quantification and evaluation research and director of quality and risk evaluation at the Association for Children at Risk (Registered Association), Israel. Her research and additional public activity focus on public administration and health policies concerning public and nonprofit institutional collaborations.

Shay S. Tzafrir, University of Haifa

Shay S. Tzafrir is an associate professor and head of the Business Administration Department at the University of Haifa. He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in behavioral science from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He also earned a B.A. and M.A. in political science, as well as LLB, from the University of Haifa. His current research interest includes the role trust plays in various organizational factors such as strategic human resource management, organizational performance, and service quality. His articles have been published in journals such as Human Resource Management, Human Resources Management Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, Journal of Organizational and Occupational Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics, Organizational Studies, and others.

Nathaniel Laor, Association for Children at Risk and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University

Nathaniel Laor is director of research and clinical affairs at Donald J. Cohen & Irving B. Harris Resilience Center at the Association for Children at Risk, Israel. He is chair of the department of medical education and professor in the department of psychiatry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, and department of philosophy, Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of the Humanities, Tel Aviv University, Israel, and clinical professor, Child Study Center, Yale University, USA. His research and public activity focus on public and nonprofit mental health policy planning and implementation; systemic response and development during disasters, war, and terrorism; and theoretical and applied philosophy of diagnostic systems for design in healthcare education and administration.






Research Articles