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San Diego State University

Fowler College of
Business Administration

Intellectual Contribution

Patterns in Collaboration
Kolfschoten, G. L., Lowry, P., Dean, D. L., Briggs, R. O.
Type of Research
Chapter(s) in Books
Date Published
2014, Before July
Contribution Type
Discipline-based scholarship (basic research)
Contribution Category
Anthology Title
Collaboration Systems: Concept, Value, and Use
ME Sharpe
Armonk, New York; London, England
Page Number(s)
Collaboration is a critical skill and competence and a key driver of performance in organizations. While collaboration has been studied in a variety of contexts, this chapter will demonstrate and argue that there is a need to study collaboration in three specific levels of abstraction: the effects of entire collaborative processes, emerging patterns in collaboration, and interventions in collaborative effort. We will show that without the clear distinction between these levels of abstraction, research will result in conflicting findings and confusion. This chapter will present the results of a meta-analysis of literature, and a pattern analysis in a database of transcripts of collaborative sessions. The contribution of this chapter will be the presentation of six emerging patterns of collaboration: generate, reduce, clarify, organize, evaluate, and build consensus. We describe each fundamental pattern of collaboration with common subtypes of these patterns. This article clarifies these patterns and describes common subtypes. It also describes the key interventions required to evoke them, and the constructs used in the literature to measure these patterns (lower level of abstraction). Further it will present how these patterns can be combined in collaborative processes, and the patterns that can be found on this level (higher level of abstraction). Together, the emerging patterns, subtypes, and constructs used to measure these subtypes are combined into a framework for the explication and measurement of patterns in collaboration.