Who collaborates successfully? Prior experience reduces collaboration barriers in distributed interdisciplinary research


Journal Article

Two recent studies of over 500 interdisciplinary research projects have documented comparatively poor outcomes of more distributed projects and the failed coordination mechanisms that partly account for these problems. In this paper we report results of an analysis of dyadic data from the most recent of these studies. The question we asked is, "Does prior experience with a collaborator reduce the barriers of distance or interdisciplinarity?" Analyses of 3911 pairs of collaborators found an answer: "In part, yes!" A prior project with a collaborator predicts greater strength of a current collaborative work tie. Prior experience also reduces the negative impact of distance and disciplinary differences. We discuss the implications of these results for CSCW, given the lack of evidence that today's technology eliminates collaboration barriers in distributed research. Copyright 2008 ACM.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cummings, JN; Kiesler, S

Published Date

  • December 1, 2008

Published In

  • Proceedings of the Acm Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, Cscw

Start / End Page

  • 437 - 446

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1145/1460563.1460633

Citation Source

  • Scopus