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Collaborative Research and the Building of a Research Agenda. What is Collaborative Research?. From Kurtz & Martin (1997): “… the working together of researchers to achieve the common goal of producing new… knowledge.”. Levels of Collaboration. Discipline. Institutional. Individual.

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what is collaborative research
What is Collaborative Research?

From Kurtz & Martin (1997):

“… the working together of researchers to achieve the common goal of producing new… knowledge.”

levels of collaboration
Levels of Collaboration




  • Communication – styles, dispersed teams
  • Individual priorities – salience
  • Personality
  • Experience/Knowledge
  • Career goals
  • Scheduling
  • Organizational priorities (strategic goals)
  • Resources (personnel, $, course/workload)
  • Culture
  • Norms (co-authorship, ownership, etc.)
  • Methods
  • Standards (What is “good” research?)
  • Tools (software)
increasing level of institutionalization networking
Increasing Level of Institutionalization/Networking













From Corley et al. (2006):

“To be in this intersection is to experience normative enlargement- not assimilation, but the enlargement that occurs as a community of researchers engaging in moral discourse is able to articulate its best account of a normative framework needed to accomplish an important research objective”

Coffin, 2005

aim alliance research collaboration goals
AIM Alliance Research Collaboration Goals
  • To provide a model of cost-effective, comparative, and replicable research for the field.
  • To agree upon a common methodology, conduct each state’s component concurrently, and disseminate the results jointly.
aim alliance research collaboration
AIM Alliance Research Collaboration
  • The first collaborative research project identified was on giving and volunteering because:
    • Research on G&V was conducted by the three centers
    • Timing of survey in the Spring
aim alliance process of collaboration
AIM Alliance Process of Collaboration
  • Unlike other regional studies, these analyses shared many aspects:
    • Shared a common research protocol
      • Used COPPS as the core survey questions about giving and negotiated other questions, which followed the COPPS questions, so as to not affect the comparability to COPPS’ national data.
aim alliance process of collaboration1
AIM Alliance Process of Collaboration
  • Other shared planning aspects:
    • Common method for data cleaning.
    • Common method for weighting processes.
    • Common approach to empirical analyses.
    • Common rules for identifying outliers.
    • Collected data over the same timeframe (Summer 2008).
aim alliance process of collaboration2
AIM Alliance Process of Collaboration
  • Other shared personnel to facilitate comparability and collaboration:
    • Used the exact same survey subcontractor in all three states (MCIC).
    • Used the same team to analyze and write up the results for the joint project (IU).
    • Used one team to negotiate and monitor all subcontracts (IU).
methodological considerations for iu
Methodological Considerations for IU
  • Maintain the integrity and comparability of the regional studies by using COPPS.
    • Center on Philanthropy has invested over $5 million in developing, testing, and implementing COPPS in several national and regional studies.
methodological considerations for iu1
Methodological Considerations for IU
  • Maintain the integrity and comparability of the regional studies by using appropriate econometric techniques that take into consideration the censoring or truncation inherent in giving and volunteering research.
  • We used Probits and Tobits to address this.
methodological considerations for asu
Methodological Considerations for ASU
  • Data that are consistent with previous studies
  • Usefulness for local nonprofit community.
  • Over-sampling of Hispanic community for a better understanding of Hispanic giving and volunteering.
methodological considerations for gvsu
Methodological Considerations for GVSU
  • Data that are consistent with previous studies
  • Compatibility between both the state of Michigan and the county
  • Inconsistencies in the methodology (i.e. the birthday rule) between this study and previous studies
methodological considerations for gvsu1
Methodological Considerations for GVSU
  • Over-sampling of Hispanic and African American community (needed for local partners)
  • Inclusion of informal giving questions
points of collaboration
Points of Collaboration
  • Individual Collaboration
    • Styles/Personality
    • Experience and Knowledge
  • Institutional Collaboration
    • Research Expertise
    • Efficient use of resources and personnel
  • Alliance Collaboration
    • Overall coordination and responsibility
    • Common goals and expectations
barriers to collaboration
Barriers to Collaboration
  • Collaboration takes time and money.
  • Collaboration requires compromises.
  • Collaboration necessitates more communication.
  • Accountability is different in a collaboration.
  • Decision-making inherently is more complex and therefore more time-consuming.
barriers to collaboration1
Barriers to Collaboration
  • Necessitates balancing individual and institutional goals vs. those of the collaboration.
    • Individual goals may not be consistent.
    • Institutional goals may not be consistent.
  • Sharing credit and costs are inherently more complex.
  • Perceptions of fairness may not be uniform.
  • Face validity and high reliability of survey
  • Larger sample that allows for more stratified analysis.
  • Regional giving data comparison as a contribution to the field
  • Ability to compare with COPPS dataset
  • Knowledge transfer among the partner universities
the future of research collaboration
The Future of Research Collaboration
  • At least two more papers from the collaborative research will be presented at ARNOVA 2008.
    • Informal Giving
    • Volunteering
  • Hope that NACC and others will embrace the use of COPPS as the benchmark or standard for measuring giving and volunteering.