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|"You've got to start messy" :an exploration of the process of involvement in a large scale educational collaboration
|Lindsey, Laura Irene
|There is increased pressure on Higher Education (HE) institutions from Government to collaborate, which is reflected in funding calls where collaborative bids are often favoured. Academic collaborations at the institutional level have built on research partnerships between individual academics. Although collaborations between HEIs are increasing, it is an under researched area. The focus of research has mainly been on smaller scale collaborations at the level of individual academics or between professions. However, the process of collaboration between institutions needs more attention. This qualitative study addresses the gap in existing research in social psychology and organisational theory by exploring the experience of involvement and the lifecycle of collaboration in a large scale HE-NHS collaboration. The study setting was CETL4HealthNE, a five year HEFCE funded collaboration. The study utilised semi-structured interviews (n=14) with members of the collaboration and longitudinal documentary analysis (n=46, length=5 years). The two main areas of interest were individual experience of involvement and the development of the collaboration. Participants perceived their involvement as a balancing act, involvement in the collaboration was hard work but very rewarding. Relationships with others were central as participants believed the networking formed foundations for future partnerships. Deepening trust at an individual level translated into improved partnership at an organisational level. The lifecycle of the collaboration had three distinct phases: formation, mobilisation and revision. This study portrays collaborations as socially constructed entities where relationships and the context play a vital part. The lifecycle of an individual collaboration is part of a larger cycle of collaborations, traces of the past are carried into the future through personal connections. With the increase of HE collaborations and the proposed organisational changes to the NHS, the study highlights the need to find ways to utilise the connections of previous working partnerships to enable new collaborations to benefit from them.
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|Institute of Health and Society
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|Lindsey , L. 13.pdf
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