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Collaboration Readings

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Read more on collaboration

This list was gathered by Will Olmstadt and Bob Engeszer, both of the Becker Medical Library at Washington University, St. Louis, MO.

  • Amey, M. J., & Brown, D. F. (2005). Interdisciplinary collaboration and academic work: A case study of a university-community partnership. New Directions for Teaching & Learning, (102), 23-35. Retrieved from
    The authors propose a model of the stages of interdisciplinary collaboration grounded in their experiences as external evaluators of a university-community partnership. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

  • Babiak, K., & Thibault, L. (2009). Challenges in multiple cross-sector partnerships. Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 38(1), 117-143. Retrieved from
    This research examines challenges associated with partnerships among a group of cross-sector organizations. The context for this study is a nonprofit organization in Canada's sport system and its numerous partners in public, nonprofit, and commercial sectors. The results reveal challenges in the areas of structure and strategy. Specifically, data uncover structural challenges with respect to problems with governance, roles, and responsibilities guiding the partnerships and with the complexity of partnership forms and structures. The data also uncover strategic challenges, in light of the focus on competition versus collaboration among various partners and the changes in missions and objectives through the duration of the relationship. The results and implications for nonprofit organizations involved in multiple cross-sector partnerships are discussed. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

  • Boydell, L. R., & Rugkåsa, J. (2007). Benefits of working in partnership: A model. Critical Public Health, 17(3), 217-228. doi:10.1080/09581590601010190
    Partnership and other forms of public participation in decision-making have become central to policy-making. Simultaneously, there is a growing commitment to evidence-based policy and a requirement to demonstrate value for money for the time and resources invested in partnerships. This paper presents a conceptual model describing the benefits of working in partnership and suggests that these are valuable assets in enabling organizations to take action to reduce inequalities in health. The model is derived from case studies of two health action zones in Northern Ireland. In the model, connections, learning and action are identified as key components on the pathway from partnership formation to impact. Based on 'Realistic Evaluation', the model reflects the importance of partnership as a programme that which may be used for different purposes and in various contexts. The interrelationship between purpose and context, and how the mechanism is implemented, will determine the degree of effectiveness. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

  • Eckel, P. D., & Hartley, M. (2008). Developing academic strategic alliances: Reconciling multiple institutional cultures, policies, and practices. Journal of Higher Education, 79(6), 613-637. Retrieved from
    The article discusses methods to develop academic strategic alliances across different institutional cultures, policies, and practices. Colleges and universities in the United States are expected to add more professional programs as needed and serve society's whims in general even though they often do not have the resources to respond to them. The authors examine the ways that institutions of higher learning are working together with other organizations in order to meet expectations with a limited budget.

  • Harman, G. G., & Harman, K. K. (2008). Strategic mergers of strong institutions to enhance competitive advantage. Higher Education Policy, 21(1), 99-121. Retrieved from
    Strategic mergers are formal combinations or amalgamations of higher education institutions with the aim of enhancing competitive advantage, or merging for 'mutual growth'. Recently, in a number of countries, there has been a decided shift from mergers initiated by governments, and dealing mainly with 'problem' cases, towards institutional-initiated mergers involving strong institutions, and with clear strategic objectives. These issues are addressed and a case study is presented of the 2004 merger that created the new University of Manchester, which aims to be among the top 25 universities internationally by 2015.Higher Education Policy (2008) 21, 99-121. doi:10.1057/palgrave.hep.8300172 [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

  • McNall, M., Reed, C., Brown, R., & Allen, A. (2009). Brokering Community-University engagement. Innovative Higher Education, 33(5), 317-331. doi:10.1007/s10755-008-9086-8
    Although substantial areas of agreement exist regarding the characteristics of effective community-university partnerships for research, there is little empirical research on the relationship between the characteristics of such partnerships and their outcomes. In this study, we explored the relationship between partnership characteristics and partnership outcomes. Analyses of the relationships between partnership dynamics and perceived benefits show that (1) effective partnership management is associated with increased research on a community issue, problem, or need; (2) co-creation of knowledge is associated with improved service outcomes for clients; and (3) shared power and resources are negatively associated with increased funding for community partners' organizations. Our findings suggest that effective partnership management and opportunities for the co-creation of knowledge are practices that are worthy of deliberate cultivation within community-university partnerships for research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

  • Rodgers, C., & Wright, R. E. (2006). The ownership problem in higher education. EduExec, 25(2), 4-4. Retrieved from
    The article presents an interview with Robert E. Wright, clinical associate professor of business history in the Stern School of Business, New York University. When asked about the scope of higher education in the U.S., he refers to the mind-set of the American students which lacks innovative thoughts. He comments that ownership structure is a crucial component of success in any organization, and the problem with higher education is an ownership problem. When asked to suggest some remedial steps, he says that the professors should own the schools in a for-profit professional partnership, much like law and consulting firms.

  • Trani, E. P. (2008). Even in hard times, colleges should help their communities Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
    The article presents the author's views on the importance of maintaining, even during economic hard times, programs that connect U.S. colleges and universities with their surrounding communities. He cites several examples of the mutual benefits he saw from university-community partnerships at Virginia Commonwealth University in the 1990s.

  • University-industry partnerships: What do they mean to universities? A review of the literature.(2005). Industry & Higher Education, 19(3), 221-229. Retrieved from
    Universities and industry have a long history of collaboration and there are many benefits in forming partnerships for universities and industry alike. For universities, these partnerships can provide financial support for their educational, research and service missions; broaden the experience of their students and faculty; identify significant, interesting and relevant problems; enhance regional economic development; and increase employment opportunities for students. Such partnerships, however, are not without risks. Conflicts of interest between university and industry researchers, suppression of information from fellow researchers and an 'undermining of academic standards' are real issues and must be managed appropriately. Partnerships can be successful if proactive steps are taken to recognize and mitigate the known risks. This paper provides a review of existing literature on university-industry partnerships and develops, from the university's perspective, a set of generally agreed-upon benefits, risks and techniques to facilitate successful collaboration with industry. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

  • Zakocs, R. C., Tiwari, R., Vehige, T., & DeJong, W. (2008). Roles of organizers and champions in building Campus-Community prevention partnerships. Journal of American College Health, 57(2), 233-241. Retrieved from
    Objective: A campus-community partnership can be an effective vehicle for launching environmental strategies to prevent college alcohol-related problems. In this study, the authors' primary aim was identifying key factors that facilitate or impede colleges' efforts to build campus-community partnerships. Participants and Methods: From fall 2004 to summer 2006, administrators at five 4-year colleges participated in a multisite case study. Level of partnership development was the primary outcome. Results: Three interrelated factors facilitated higher-developed partnerships: college staff assigned to facilitate the partnerships who worked as community organizers, higherlevel college administrators who served as aggressive champions, and community initiation of the partnership. The authors did not observe this trio of factors among the less-developed partnerships. A lack of administrative support made it more difficult for a champion to emerge, a college administrator who staunchly advocated for a campus-community partnership, and for those assigned to facilitate the partnership to carry out their work. Conclusions: Colleges should appoint higher-level administrators to serve as champions, while also ensuring that those assigned to facilitate a partnership can apply community organizing skills. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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