Challenges to Collaboration

Collaboration offers many benefits and has been identified as “… a pathway for sustainability” (Lozango, 2007, p. 370). Despite the positive upside of collaboration, it also comes with numerous challenges and failures.

The systematic review by Plummer et al. (2012) identify several factors contributing to failures of adaptive co-management.

The Challenges of Collaboration in Environmental Governance (Margerum & Robinson, 2016) dedicates an entire volume to detailing these matters and their resolution.

Finally, Caldwell et al. (2015) also look at the challenges of community-based participatory research partnerships from the community partners perspective. Again, they list personal, organizational, and community challenges often experienced in this context.

A few interesting and important words of caution when critically assessing the benefits and challenges of collaboration from both practice and scholarship. Often these can stem from a particular experience or come from a particular case study. Context may be critical, and transferability may be problematic. Speculation regarding benefits and challenges is also commonplace, with systematic reviews revealing the amount of claims absence of empirical evidence (see Plummer et al., 2012; Feist et al., 2020). The bolded text in these tables displays the multiple challenges that are common across different types of co-operative efforts.



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Building Sustainable Communities: Collaboration Copyright © 2022 by Ryan Plummer; Amanda Smits; Samantha Witkowski; Bridget McGlynn; Derek Armitage; Ella-Kari Muhl; and Jodi Johnston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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