AO: Alliance is used interchangeably with the term “collaboration.”
AO: This article made me reflect on whether or not all collaboration starts as such. Does there always need to be an agreed upon originary moment where terms and ideas are agreed upon? Or is it possible to realize halfway through that in fact what you are doing is a collaboration?
AO: The analysts note that the presence of a convener facilitates the formation of an alliance.
AO: The analysts note that there must be an arrival at a shared understanding of the problem domain and every stakeholders’ place within it. Stakeholders should have some self-interest in having access to the commons.
AO: The analysts do not talk about data within their analyses of the way collaboration is discussed.
AO: They do not discuss technological infrastructures.
AO: As the analyst’s definition showed (see Micro), they assume that a good collaborator follows the shared rules, norms and structures to act/decide. They note that the stakeholders must explicitly agree on the rules and norms to govern their interactive process (a change-oriented relationship).
AO: Their definition assumes an autonomous stakeholder which they say is crucial because stakeholders should retain their independent decision-making powers. While stakeholders might agree to relinquish some autonomy to the collaborative alliance, if they relinquish all autonomy, then a different organizational form is created, a merger perhaps, but not a collaboration.
AO: The analysts note that stakeholders can have both common and differing interests at the start of a collaborative venture, but the interests may change or be redefined as the collaboration proceeds (noting change over time).
AO: The analysts note that a collaboration is directed towards an objective but that doesn’t imply that the intended objective must be reached for the collaboration to occur.
AO: Analysts note agency being conceptualized not in terms of separation and control but in terms of fusion and acceptance. Authority is not derived from power or status but from “commonality of experience”; the process of building a joint appreciation enables all stakeholders to increase their understanding of the problem by learning the desired and intended actions of others. (160)
AO: The analysts studied nine analyses of collaboration. They noted that at least 7 definitions of collaboration appeared (e.g. “collaboration as a process through which parties who see different aspects of a problem can constructively explore their differences and explore their differences and search for solutions that go beyond their own limited vision of what is possible”; “constructive management of difference”; “process of joint decision making among key stakeholders of a problem domain about the future of that domain”; “a group of key stakeholders who work together to make joint decisions about the future of their problem domain”; “an interactive process having a shared transmutational purpose and characterized by explicit voluntary membership, joint decision making, agreed-upon rules, and a temporary structure.)
AO: Analysts argued that they wanted a definition of collaboration that answers: Who is doing what, with what means, towards what ends? Eventually they came to a definition:
AO: “Collaboration occurs when a group of autonomous stakeholders of a problem domain engage in an interactive process, using shared rules, norms, and structures, to act or decide on issues related to that domain.”
AO: A convening power that has legitimacy among the stakeholders and the authority to organize the domain as well as an unbiased and even-handed approach to the problem domain as well as the ability to identify all relevant stakeholders is important to facilitate a collaboration amongst diverse stakeholders.
AO: The analysts generally note that shared agreement on the rules to govern the collaborative alliance need to be made but given the wide range of collaborations they studied, they did not go into specific details.
AO: The analysts propose six theoretical perspectives to explain and examine collaborative behavior: resource dependence, corporate social performance/institutional economics, strategic management/social ecology, microeconomics, institutional/negotiated order, and political.
AO: Analysts argue that limitation of current theories of collaboration (in organizational theory are that most focus on the individual organization rather than interorganizational problem domain. They hold that focus needs to shift from org to domain level. (meso to macro?)
AO: The analysts use resource dependence theory to describe why interdependencies are created (because some orgs possess vital resources and are the source of environmental pressures for others). To reduce these pressures, orgs enter collaboration to gain control over crucial resource supplies. (156)
AO: Analysts leverage theories of collective action to ask: “what are the relationships between the self-interests of individual participants and the collective interests of the stakeholders of the problem domain?” (161). Analysts note that stakeholders’ self-interests and a problem domain’s collective interests are not as easy to separate as they first appear.
AO: The analysts are focused on the preconditions that make collaboration possible and motivate stakeholders (why would one participate in a collaboration?), the process of collaboration, and the outcomes of collaboration. They are trying to come up with a comprehensive theory of collaboration.
AO: Analysts identify a central question: “To what extent do stakeholders of a domain enter into collaborations intending to reduce environmental complexity and enhance their control over environmental factors and to what extent are such objectives actually met? If collaboration actually increases environmental complexity, what does it offer to stakeholders in exchange for this undesirable effect?”