, Volume 34, Issue 1-2, pp 1-69

Collaboration and Social Inquiry: Multiple Meanings of a Construct and Its Role in Creating Useful and Valid Knowledge

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Abstract

The concept of collaboration in community research and intervention, although not new, has grown tremendously in importance in the past 20 years. Yet, it is both a contested concept in terms of its intent and a still evolving idea in terms of its meaning and implications. The purpose of this monograph is to begin to “unpack” the collaboration construct in terms of its many meanings, rationales, goals, models, dynamics, and accomplishments. Although models of collaboration are often well articulated there is “partial paradigm acquisition” (E. J. Trickett, 1984) in terms of understanding their behavioral and ethical implications. There is more theology than conclusion. The promise of collaboration, although considerable, is still in need of multiple and varied empirical examples of how collaboration contributes to both the process and goals of community research and intervention, however defined. The monograph closes with a brief overview of what we have learned from reviewing this literature, an articulation of the kinds of questions that need to be addressed, and a series of recommendations for how to increase our understanding of the collaboration construct in community research and intervention.