Collaboration is not an easy way to improve research productivity or the quality of research, but it has certain benefits. It is most likely to succeed when it is a natural evolutionary process. It should be a mutually satisfying and rewarding process among people who have explicit responsibilities. The roles of the participants must be clear; the division of labor, if any, must be outlined. Nurse researchers prepared at the doctoral level probably will be most interested in collaboration as equals. This will involve a natural selection of partners who know each other's abilities in some way. Frequent formal and informal contacts are essential; spatial propin- quity is a great asset. Because propinquity of nurse researchers is often impossible, they must actively seek effective communication techniques. The size of the collaboration team must fit the type or size of the problem. It may be better to begin with one or two other people and expand as needs change. Development of trust and knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of the team members is essential to the establishment of collaboration teams. However, this may be more difficult in large groups. 38 February 1985, Vol. 7, No. 1 Collaboration used wisely is a technique that will foster the devel- opment of nursing research and the intellectual growth of nursing researchers. The decision to collaborate should be based on the availability of individuals who have similar interests and the available technology for communication, who are located near one another, and who are eager to risk the potential gains and losses of a collaborative effort. If professionals who wish to collaborate approach the effort deliberately in order to maximize the potential payoffs, then collabora- tion will likely be a significant force in the improvement of nursing research.
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