What Makes Collaboration Work?

The first lesson in this module gave precision to use of key terms (partnership, collaboration, co-management, governance) and identified key dimensions underpinning their manifestation. It highlights why “co-operative” approaches are essential to the contemporary problem domain under study. The second lesson addressed a general conceptual model of working together for building sustainable communities as well as case studies of specific forms by which it occurs.

As alluded to in the first two lessons, it is imperative to be aware of the differences between analytical specificity in academic scholarship and messiness apparent in reality. Both are important for learners wishing to engage community for sustainability.

In an effort to gain insights into qualities that influence collaboration, both positively and negatively, we sought out individuals with extensive experience across various contexts. We posed two questions to each person and asked them to illustrate their answer using an example from their experience:

  1. What qualities or ingredients are most important for collaboration to succeed?
  2. What qualities or ingredients cause collaboration to go horribly wrong?

Please proceed to the next page to find the responses to these questions across three unique case studies.


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Building Sustainable Communities: Collaboration 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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