After working in public services for many years, I began a part-time doctorate and investigated the relationship between the public service ethos and multi-agency partnership boards in public services. Although I had regularly attended strategic boards, on starting the study, I found that research on the public service ethos and partnership working had tended to investigate collaboration between the private and public sectors. Although it was understandable why these studies had taken place, they ignored the relationship between the public service ethos and partnership working in public settings. This case study looks at a key aspect of my research, the tools of data collection – observation, semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis used to investigate values. The study uses findings and research from my thesis, supplemented by my own reflections.