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Enhancing research collaborations: Three key management challenges

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  • Bammer, Gabriele

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bammer, Gabriele, 2008. "Enhancing research collaborations: Three key management challenges," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 875-887, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:5:p:875-887
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Landry, Rejean & Amara, Nabil, 1998. "The impact of transaction costs on the institutional structuration of collaborative academic research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 901-913, December.
    2. Chompalov, Ivan & Genuth, Joel & Shrum, Wesley, 2002. "The organization of scientific collaborations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 749-767, July.
    3. Hackett, Edward J. & Conz, David & Parker, John & Bashford, Jonathon & DeLay, Susan, 2004. "Tokamaks and turbulence: research ensembles, policy and technoscientific work," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 747-767, July.
    4. Rigby, J. & Edler, J., 2005. "Peering inside research networks: Some observations on the effect of the intensity of collaboration on the variability of research quality," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 784-794, August.
    5. Rossini, Frederick A. & Porter, Alan L., 1979. "Frameworks for integrating interdisciplinary research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 70-79, January.
    6. Corley, Elizabeth A. & Boardman, P. Craig & Bozeman, Barry, 2006. "Design and the management of multi-institutional research collaborations: Theoretical implications from two case studies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 975-993, September.
    7. Porac, Joseph F. & Wade, James B. & Fischer, Harald M. & Brown, Joyce & Kanfer, Alaina & Bowker, Geoffrey, 2004. "Human capital heterogeneity, collaborative relationships, and publication patterns in a multidisciplinary scientific alliance: a comparative case study of two scientific teams," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 661-678, May.
    8. Wagner, Caroline S. & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2005. "Network structure, self-organization, and the growth of international collaboration in science," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1608-1618, December.
    9. Melin, Goran, 2000. "Pragmatism and self-organization: Research collaboration on the individual level," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 31-40, January.
    10. Katz, J. Sylvan & Martin, Ben R., 1997. "What is research collaboration?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberto Iorio & Sandrine Labory & Francesco Rentocchini, 2014. "Academics’ Motivations and Depth and Breadth of Knowledge Transfer Activities," Working Papers 1401, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    2. Deana Pennington & Gabriele Bammer & Antje Danielson & David Gosselin & Julia Gouvea & Geoffrey Habron & Dave Hawthorne & Roderic Parnell & Kate Thompson & Shirley Vincent & Cynthia Wei, 2016. "The EMBeRS project: employing model-based reasoning in socio-environmental synthesis," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 6(2), pages 278-286, June.
    3. repec:eee:ejores:v:268:y:2018:i:3:p:1168-1177 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Barry Bozeman & Monica Gaughan & Jan Youtie & Catherine P. Slade & Heather Rimes, 2016. "Research collaboration experiences, good and bad: Dispatches from the front lines," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 226-244.
    5. Pfotenhauer, Sebastian M. & Wood, Danielle & Roos, Dan & Newman, Dava, 2016. "Architecting complex international science, technology and innovation partnerships (CISTIPs): A study of four global MIT collaborations," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 38-56.
    6. Carillo, Maria Rosaria & Papagni, Erasmo & Sapio, Alessandro, 2013. "Do collaborations enhance the high-quality output of scientific institutions? Evidence from the Italian Research Assessment Exercise," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 25-36.
    7. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:5:p:965-979 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. He, Zi-Lin & Geng, Xue-Song & Campbell-Hunt, Colin, 2009. "Research collaboration and research output: A longitudinal study of 65 biomedical scientists in a New Zealand university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 306-317, March.
    9. repec:dug:actaec:y:2017:i:3:p:139-154 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Li, Eldon Y. & Liao, Chien Hsiang & Yen, Hsiuju Rebecca, 2013. "Co-authorship networks and research impact: A social capital perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1515-1530.
    11. Sinnewe, Elisabeth & Charles, Michael B. & Keast, Robyn, 2016. "Australia's Cooperative Research Centre Program: A transaction cost theory perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 195-204.
    12. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Erasmo Papagni & Alessandro Sapio, 2012. "Do collaborations enhance the high-quality output of scientific institutions? Evidence from the Italian Research Assessment Exercise (2001-2003)," Discussion Papers 4_2012, CRISEI, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.

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