Structural characteristics refer to the administrative rules in place that facilitate the management of the community coalition. The CCAT illustrates that coalitions with structures are more likely to achieve collaborative synergy in the coalition. Researchers have also identified the importance of coalition structures in predicting coalition progress. Butterfoss (2007) notes that the development of structure, rules, and responsibilities early in a coalition’s development enables community coalitions to operate effectively. Butterfoss (2007) indicates that structures can take the form of written policies and laws (e.g., memoranda of understanding, bylaws, and policy and procedure manuals). Bryson (1988) adds that coalitions benefit from developing clear mission statements.
Another important structure is a steering committee or executive board that provides guidance and governance to coalition activities (Butterfoss, 2007). The steering committee or executive board, comprised of representatives of the member organizations, convenes regularly to assess the goals and activities of the coalition. Such structures facilitate collaboration, as they help members to more fully understand the purpose of the coalition and their individual roles and responsibilities.