Modeling Collaborative Initiatives: Processes and Outcomes in Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships

William Scott Cunningham, University at Albany

Despite a multitude of research findings stemming from partnerships between researchers and practitioners, little attention has been devoted to explaining how these collaborative efforts operate on a theoretical level. The research reported here addresses the question, "How do researcher-practitioner collaborations operate?" Examining an on-going collaborative project, three areas are investigated. First, the research examines the structural characteristics, work processes that occur in a collaborative project. Second, the research addresses the mechanisms of collaboration that lead to changes in how practitioners understand and perceive themselves and their roles. Finally, the potential for such collaborations to change organizations is explored. Results suggest that these collaborations can be conceived of as team-based interventions with considerable potential to effect change in organizations.

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Updated 05/20/2006