Research in Higher Education

, Volume 46, Issue 7, pp 831–860 | Cite as

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

  • Adrianna KezarEmail author

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.


collaboration organizational change college and university administration 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arino, A., Torre, J. 1998Learning from failure: towards an evolutionary model of collaborative venturesOrganization Science9306325Google Scholar
  2. Author. (in press). Creating a model for a collaborative context in higher education. Journal of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  3. Birnbaum, R. 1991How College Work?Jossey BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  4. Birnbaum, R. 2002Management Fads in Higher EducationJossey BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyatzis, R. 1998Transforming qualitative dataSageThousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  6. Doz, Y. 1996The evolution of cooperation in strategic alliances: initial conditions or learning processes?Strategic Management Journal175583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Denison, D., Hart, S., Kahn, J. 1996From chimneys to cross-functional teams: developing and validating a diagnostic modelAcademy of Management Journal3910051023Google Scholar
  8. Jassawalla, A. R., Sashittal, H. C. 1999Building collaborative cross-functional new product development teamsAcademy of Management Executive135063Google Scholar
  9. Jacoby, B., and Assoc (eds.). (2003). Building Partnerships for Service Learning. Jossey Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  10. Kanter, R. M. (1994). Collaborative advantage: the art of alliances. Harvard Business Review 4: 96–108.Google Scholar
  11. Kezar, A. 2001Understanding and Facilitating Organizational Change in the 21st Century: Recent Research and ConceptualizationsASHE-ERIC Higher Education ReportsWashington, D.C.Report 28:4Google Scholar
  12. Kezar, A., and Hirsch, V. (eds.) (2002). Achieving student success: collaboration between academic and student affairs. New Directions for Higher Education, Number 116/Winter, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  13. Liedtka, J. M. 1996Collaborating across lines of business for collaborative advantageAcademy of Management Executive102034Google Scholar
  14. Merriam, S. 1998Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in EducationJossey BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  15. Mohrman, S., Cohen, S., Mohrman, A. 1995Designing Team Based Organizations: New Forms for Knowledge WorkJossey BassSan FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  16. Ramaley, J. 2001Why do we engage in engagementMetropolitan Universities121319Google Scholar
  17. Ring, P., Van de Ven, A. 1994Developmental processes of cooperative interorganizational relationshipsAcademy of Management Review1990118Google Scholar
  18. Saxton, T. 1997The effects of partner and relationship characteristics on alliance outcomesAcademy of Management Journal40443461Google Scholar
  19. Senge, P. 1990The Fifth DisciplineDoubledayNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Smith, B., McCann, J. 2001Reinventing Ourselves: Interdisciplinarity Education, Collaborative Learning and Experimentation in Higher EducationAnker PressBolton, MAGoogle Scholar
  21. Stake, R. 1994The Art of Case Study ResearchSageThousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  22. Tjosvold, D., Tsao, Y. 1989Productive organizational collaboration: the role of values and cooperationJournal of Organizational Behavior10180195Google Scholar
  23. Whetten, D. A. 1981Interorganizational relations: a review of the fieldJournal of Higher Education52128Google Scholar
  24. Wood, D. J., Gray, B. 1991Toward a comprehensive theory of collaborationJournal Applied Behavioral Science27139162Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations