Description: Collaboration appears to be a magical solution for many problems when there is scarcity of resources, lack of knowledge or skills, and/or environmental threats. However, there is little knowledge about the nature of collaboration. A holistic conceptual framework was developed for the collaborative process, and the conceptualization process used systems thinking approach. The author has selectively chosen conceptualizations and/or research by a limited subset of scholars whose ideas appeared to be the most relevant and useful to explore the type of collaboration studied here. In other words, the selection of the literature was based on an eclectic selection. Multiple cases were used in this research to understand the factors that are components of collaborative effort among non-profit organizations and the relationships among those factors. This study also investigated the stages of collaborative process. Data were collected from 54 participants who were partners in collaborate projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Among these 54 participants, 50 answered the online questionnaire and 38 received the telephone interviews. The data collected was analyzed using cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, internal consistency reliability, and descriptive statistics. The component factors of collaboration were grouped by the following seven concepts: trustworthiness, competence, dependency, misunderstanding and/or conflict, complexity, commitment and mechanism of coordination. This study showed twelve relationships among these factors. For instance, different points of view and partners' capacity to maintain inter-organizational relationships were found to be opposite concepts. In addition, the findings in this study indicate that 84% of participants reported the presence of the five pre-defined stages: execution, networking, definition, relationship, and common evaluation.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Morales Arroyo, Miguel Angel
Partner: UNT Libraries