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Redesigning for Collaboration within Higher Education Institutions: An Exploration into the Developmental Process

Redesigning for Collaboration within Higher Education Institutions
Type: Article
Author(s): Adrianna Kezar
Published: Research in Higher Eduction 46(7), 2005
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As a result of both the external pressures and the known benefits of collaboration, many higher education institutions are trying to create learning communities, service and community-based learning, and interdisciplinary research and teaching. However, over 50% of collaborations fail. There has been virtually no research on how to enable higher education institutions to conduct collaborative work. This article focuses on examining how institutions moved from a culture that supports individual work to the ones that facilitate collaborative work. A three-stage model emerged. The first stage, building commitment, contains four contextual elements—values, external pressure, learning and networks. Here the institution uses ideas/information from a variety of sources to convince members of the campus of the need to conduct collaborative work. In the second stage, commitment, senior executives demonstrate support and re-examine the mission of the campus and leadership emerges within the network. The third phase is called sustaining and includes the development of structures, networks, and rewards to support the collaborations.