Enhancing research collaborations: Three key management challenges
This conceptual paper explores three areas of research collaboration: (a) effectively harnessing differences, (b) setting defensible boundaries and (c) gaining legitimate authorization. The focus is on their potential lessons for individuals leading and managing research collaborations, evaluation of research partnerships and areas for further investigation. Examples from three partnerships - building the atomic bomb, the Human Genome Project and the World Commission on Dams - are used to highlight key elements of the ideas presented. The paper provides a framework for systematically thinking about integration of different perspectives and other elements essential to any particular collaboration. It also sketches out ideas for (1) managing differences which may destroy partnerships, (2) deciding what the collaboration should encompass, (3) understanding and accommodating forces which may distort what the collaboration is able to achieve, and (4) enlisting necessary supporters while preserving research independence.
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