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I find it sad that this article seems to totally ignore the vast literature on collaboration, making it sound like guesswork of people. How about the "Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Collaboration" article publish in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 27, No. 2, 139-162 (1991)? Or the many articles that specifically mention forms of collaboration (as interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary, etc)? This article seems to be missing some validity. --Michalisa 06:04, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

I saw fit to remove the following:

== Collaboration with Soviet Union ==
As the result of Nazi-Soviet pact several countries of Central Europe
were occupied by Soviet Union:
  • collaboration of Polish communists
  • collaboration of Finish communists
  • collaboration of Lithuanian communists
  • collaboration of Latvian communists
  • collaboration of Estonian communists
  • collaboration of Jewish communists(all above countries)

This may seem a bit harsh, but, unless this is something I'm not getting, to above list would appear to be (sorry) perfectly pointless, and tinged with misappropriateness. Possibly someone had it in mind to expand it and forgot about it. ―Itai 19:25, 3 Mar 2004 (UTC)

redirection of collaborative decision making[edit]

'Collaborative decision making' used to link here, but I have changed it to link to Group decision making, are there any objections?'".

. Collaboration is a general term and that article is quite general -- it talks about kibbutzes, classical music written in collaboration, Black Mountain College, yadda yadda. And Collaborative decision making is a somewhat technical business term, and Group decision making is more focused on technical aspects of collaborative decision making. Tal.yaron (talk) 14:11, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

That sounds fair :) AdamCaputo (talk) 16:55, 25 September 2011 (UTC)


the first sentence -- collaboration is a recursive process ... -- is it? not iterative? or any other kind of process? I'm going to mark it with a reference needed flag. Minitrue (talk) 14:34, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

"Recursive" is unnecessarily opaque. Should be dropped. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

"Nuances" section[edit]

Hi! I've added to the main article on Collaboration, with a citation in "References", a "Nuances" subsection under "Etymology" as shown below. The historical use of the word in these two contexts gives it more than a pure neutral meaning of working together.

"Collaborate" implies "to work together on a project". When individuals work together as in an academic setting, "collaborate" includes the nuance "to be jointly accredited" for the work completed. When individuals and organizations work together, or organizations with other organizations, nuances include "usually willingly" and "with another organization with which one is not normally connected".

Glad to discuss! -- Sitearm | Talk 16:18, 2005 August 13 (UTC)

Musical collaboration[edit]

This section needs to expand and we more articles about this --Nerd42 15:38, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Companies like..[edit]

I removed this section on May 27, 2006:

First, the end statement is clearly someone's personal opinion, and without citation or reference it is absolutely suspect. Second, many companies are responsible for differing amounts of 'collaboration' with the Nazi regime, and I think only citing three is an incomplete or haphazard gesture -- what about Monsanto, Coca-Cola (Fanta) or many others. Someone should build out this section as completely as possible.


Link Issues[edit]

The following link does not work, at least for me. So, I moved it from the article page to this one. If you can fix it, please do. Keesiewonder 15:05, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Free Cooperation - Conference and resource about the art of online collaboration.

I spent several minutes trying to find this article at the IT Manager's Journal, and could not. Please advise. Keesiewonder 15:21, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Collaboration in Graduate Work[edit]

An observation I have and that I've heard is that the ability to collaborate on projects, in person or in an online setting, is an expected skill for students as they begin their master's degree. However, little instruction is provided on how this collaboration is supposed to be accomplished for those who may not be accustomed to working this way. Somewhere, perhaps in one of the Wiki environments, it would be nice to find list of guidelines or resources for those of us who would like to become successful collaborators. Keesiewonder 18:10, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

moved from article[edit]

I move the 'questions' section here becasue it does not seem to be part of the standard wikipedia format for an article.


More research into the nature of collaboration is needed to answer such questions as:

  • How does collaboration differ from cooperation? (dictionary definitions are generally more or less equivalent)
  • What qualifies as a collaboration? (is Wikipedia a collaboration in the same way that a work of art is when two artists collaborate face-to-face? and for that matter, does a family, city, nation or species qualify? Is the vivid representation of collaborative activity on the internet inducing changes in the very definition of art and authorship? Just as the printing press, photography and the telegraph once inspired the Futurists, Cubists and Surrealists, we are beginning to see the emergence of new kinds of collective creative practice such as Wigglism, Submodernism, etc.)
  • What are the defining principles or elements of this process? (understanding these might help to draw conclusions on the previous questions)

Currently there exists no unifying general theory of collaboration.

In an attempt to answer the first question see comments below at Talk:Collaboration#a rethink. Also see the Talk:General_theory_of_collaboration page. MLWilson 21:40, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

updated definition section and added a section that explains difference between management and collaboration[edit]

I agree there exists no unifying definition of collaboration. I think I have one....which I have added. I would also like to delete all the communication and co-ordination stuff as I think it distracts from what collaboration is.

Collaborative Art?[edit]

I have recently started an art project - it is a collaborative art project. Furthermore, I now believe I will spend the next 10 years of my life pursuing collaborative art. To my surprise, there really isn't much on the subject or the history of it.

Given that music is listed here, shouldn't art? I would be more than happy to help find resources - given I am currently studying these concepts.

I'll make sure to watch this page.

Onesimplehuman 02:07, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

David George DeLancey (talk) 05:35, 16 July 2014 (UTC) == DeLancey's Wayt == In coherence with the above Collaborative Art : My specialty in research is Art Economics History , this I assure will explain this defining attempt towards the word and terming powers of Collaboration or Collaborative ~ Collectively Organizing Leadership Leniently Above Boundaries Overwhelmingly Receiving A Talented Invitation Owing Necessity ~ And so with - Collectively Owing Leadership Leniently Arising Benefit Over Reasoning Aware That Invitations Own Necessity |-\-/ ~ The End David George DeLancey David George DeLancey (talk) 05:35, 16 July 2014 (UTC)


This article begins thus:

Collaboration is the process wherein units work together to achieve outcomes for shared stakeholders, quicker and more cost effectively than if they worked on their own, without having to change the "how" codes of any of the participating Units.

This is supposed to be English Wikipedia, written in English. Why all these buzzwords? Collaboration is not a concept understood ONLY by whichever freak communities are versed in buzzwords like this.

Are there really some people who take this kind of writing seriously? Is it beyond medical science to treat their condition? Michael Hardy 19:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Webster's 1913 dictionary defines collaboration as "The act of working together; united labor." This is how literate people write when they are trying to be clear, instead of showing off. There is no excuse for using a phrase like "recursive interaction of knowledge" or putting six footnotes in a single sentence. It is pretentious and it insults the reader. David Radcliffe 20:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Agree 1000%FeatherPluma (talk) 07:08, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

can I suggest a definition of god is Michael Hardy. He knows everything.[edit]

Collaboration is about people not maths. It is about people who see the world differently working together without attacking each other’s view of the world. Maybe you should try it? Or maybe you think you have the answers to everything in the that you can write all definitions on every word ever created.....and if anyone should disagree they cannot be taken seriously.....and are beyond medical help. Maybe you can then write a definition on god. I know....can I suggest a definition of god is Michael Hardy. He knows everything. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

OK, you can be sarcastic too. But would you really suggest that "collaboration" should be defined only via the nomenclature of one relatively narrow field, when collaboration occurs everywhere? Michael Hardy 01:32, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

repugnant jargon[edit]

Seriously, the initial sentence seems calculated to incite feelings of revulsion in readers not initiated into an esoteric jargon. Michael Hardy 01:35, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

repugnant jargon[edit]

OK, I do see where you are coming from. I am as frustrated as that people keep talking about collaboration.....often saying this website is a good example....but there is no definition of collaboration that is tight enough to stop people using it to sell software.

repugnant jargon[edit]

In an attempt to remove jargon I have updated the main page. I have removed the paragraph below I think coordination and cooperation can also by dynamic. For me ....what makes the difference is that collaboration is the process people with different points of view or different ways of seeing the world interact to learn from each other in order to get better at what ever those people are trying to do. Coordination and communication tends to be used by people who have the same point of view or ways of seeing the world.

"Collaboration is dynamic in its nature, as opposed to co-operation which is static. Its dynamicity lies in the fact that in collaboration the goal is set for achieving something completely new, improving an existing feature and building on each others competences in order to accomplish innovation".

collaboration occurs everywhere?[edit]

Collaboration does not occur everywhere.....and many people use the word to collaborate when they often mean they want to get a group of people to conform to their view of the world. In fact due to peoples desire to belong to a group the easiest and most common processes are communication and coordination. This is because they are used to build groups of people who see the world the same way. As a result collaborate does not occur everywhere. is crucial to make sure that word collaborate is fundamentally different to the definitions of communicate and coordinate.

a rethink[edit]

In fact....having looked at the oxford english dictionary......collaborate is in fact people doing work....that is it. Coordination and cooperation are processes that have a wider reference....while collaboration is focussed on work only. So I have added that in....then moved on to the 2 distinct applications ie to force people to conform to a common way of working or to enable people to learn from each other. I think this is more accurate.

Actually, the Oxford English, Second Edition says 'Collaboration: United labour, co-operation; esp. in literary, artistic, or scientific work.' (Might be issues with abridged versions?..) The first etymological references of collaboration, collaborate and collaborator also are all in reference to literary collaboration - I'm of the impression that it is the creative component which distinguishes collaboration from cooperation. Also, I'm unclear as to what the reference to forcing people to conform means - are there examples? Mark Elliott 08:51, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
From my understanding, the difference between collaboration and cooperation may be best descibed by collaboration being a form of cooperation. To cooperate is to participate jointly via complementary action toward one end. Collaboration is such an action. What makes collaboration a separate concept is it is specifically the recursive interaction of knowledge and engagement between two or individuals toward an end. One that collaborates is one that mutually exchanges information and learns toward a goal. Collaboration is a cooperative form of behavior that is knowledge-focused. MLWilson 21:26, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I'd think something along these lines would be very appropriate in the opening section of the article. Currently it doesn't seem to impart anything specific about the process or its outcomes - rather it seems focused on how collaboration can be employed as opposed to what it actually is. Mark Elliott 07:47, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

April 2007 updates[edit]

I will be editing collaboration and other related pages for an undergraduate thesis project. Because the project and pages are about collaboration, this would be a great place for us all to converse, please collaborate with me and provide feedback. --Parhamr 22:17, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

General Theory of Collaboration[edit]

Please watch the General theory of collaboration and it's discussion page. I am going to put a little time in compiling some of the integrative theories of collaboration by scholars. This page seems to miss the mark on what collaboration is and is not in my opinion. Will help contribute more later. MLWilson 05:47, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the summary paragraph of this article could be improved and better reflect what collaboration is. Perhaps we can discuss here first before changing. Any proposals, thoughts? MLWilson 21:36, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good—important things to express are that collaboration is constructed, collaboration requires pressure/competition to become high-performance, leadership is not critical. —Parhamr 07:04, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Removed—is this necessary?[edit]

I removed the following text; it rivals the content actually about collaboration, in size. Also, since it has a link at the top of the page, does the content belong on this page? --Parhamr 07:44, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

==Wartime collaboration== Main article: Collaborationism

As a pejorative term, the word "collaboration" can describe the treason of cooperating with enemy forces occupying one's country. As such it implies criminal deeds in the service of the occupying power, including complicity with the occupying power in murder, persecutions, pillage, and economic exploitation as well as participation in a puppet government.

The use of "collaboration" to mean "traitorous cooperation with the enemy," dates from 1940, originally in reference to the Vichy Regime in France, the French civilians who sympathised with Nazi Germany's doctrine, and voluntary troops (LVF) who fought against the Free French and later De Gaulle's French Force. Since then, the words collaboration and collaborateur have this very pejorative meaning in French ( and the abbreviation collabo has only this pejorative and insulting meaning).

During World War II, those accused of collaboration with Axis Powers included:

See also Non-German cooperation with Nazis during World War II.

The term on this negative meaning is also used for German individuals and institutions cooperating with the Nazi regime, though in their case it was not a foreign occupation, and later to people cooperating with or helping other dictatorial regimes in their own countries, even when foreign occupation was not involved.

Piaget's contributions[edit]

June 7, 2007 User: made this change: (→Academia - Piaget in fact did theorise cooperation. See Piaget, J. (1997/1995) "Sociological Studies" and Piaget, J. (1932) The Moral Judgment of the child)

I appreciate your contribution but your argument is not clear enough. The Piaget assertion comes from learning community; I had read it to say that his direct contribution to constructivism asserted the "individual was the 'unit of instruction' and the focus of research." Also, please note that cooperation and collaboration are related but distinctly different—all collaboration requires cooperation but not all cooperation requires collaboration.
I see three possible outcomes to this:
  1. Your change is accepted: this means that Piaget's direct contribution to constructivism did not assert the above (the appropriate changes should also be made to learning community)
  2. A clarifying statement is added: what do you think it should say? I am guessing it might say "however, Piaget's work outside constructivism included cooperation"
  3. No change: if the current statement is accurate
Parhamr 09:03, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Collaboration research document[edit]

I just discovered a research document that may be of great use to this article: Globalisation in the network of science in 2005: The diffusion of international collaboration and the formation of a core group. I will try to read it and synthesize some prose for this article. I encourage you all to do the same! —Parhamr 17:30, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Worldwide view needed[edit]

As a major contributor to this article, I have—by default—introduced systematic bias. It would be excellent if more non-western (and particularly non-US) views and events were added to this article; well-cited, of course! —Parhamr 00:11, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Collaboration Definition in Summary[edit]

The changes made to the "definition" of collaboration September 13, 2007-September 22, 2007 both added to and took away from the definition. For example, the previous version better highlighted the interaction of knowledge itself and mutual learning which is so central to collaboration and separates it from just cooperation or knowledge sharing. However, the changes made with the September 22 version simplify the theoretical definition making it easier to understand. The latest changes I made to it here were an attempt to have it read better while again highlighting the learning component. I also moved building consensus after sharing knowledge since this is typically the result. Three points I would like to discuss:

  1. I am not sure we need to have "structured" in the definition. Personally, I have not seen this as a central tenet or attribute that describes what collaboration is. Must collaboration be structured?
  2. In regards to the idea that collaboration is a process and that this is not contentious -- true, however, some define it different such as a function. This is why I thought it may be a good idea to reference this as the definition develops. Maybe we are past this, however.
  3. The definition may be able to be improved by somehow better highlighting the central attributes of collaboration: recursive interaction of knowledge and mutual learning. MLWilson 15:50, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Excellent edits! Thank you for your contributions. Regarding #1—yes, it is structured. This is a primary difference between cooperation and collaboration. This word alludes to the establishment of goals and objectives as structure of the process. The structure does not have to be terribly formal, but it is structure nonetheless. —Parhamr 19:28, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I have a few more minor thoughts based on what you said: My understanding of the primary differences between cooperation and collaboration is that collaboration is a form of cooperation. It is also a recursive, knowledge-intensive process. Cooperation, however, does not necessarily include collaboration, i.e., the recursive knowledge interaction among individuals. In other words, one might say cooperation is a necessary condition to collaboration but not vice versa. Also, it is my opinion, based on definitions of collaboration, that collaboration as a process could be informal and not "structured" -- at least in the sense of formalization. Look at Wikipedia for example, or even this running dialogue. Again, maybe the concept I am using of "structured" is not the same. Look forward to the continued discussion on collaboration -- the article has come a long way! MLWilson 01:02, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Yep. Don't forget that Wikipedia has rules, though. Our actions are loosely organized but we subscribe to the overall idea. Even the most basics—social and cultural structures—are cause for some level of structure. You are reading into it too literally :-) —Parhamr 03:36, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


I added some "noreferences" and "citations missing" tags just now. This article seems to have been a very interesting and ambitious outline and also the object of a clean up effort but just in case the tags might help though I am not entirely sure. OK in advance from my point of view to remove, change or move any of my edits. Best wishes. -Susanlesch 11:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

2:44 p.m. e.s.t. May i say that the first setting here by Michalisa 06:04 13 2006 was very creative and would do almost all my contributions on it until i then acheive more experience though a couple of more sections concernings the thoughts and posibilities would be helpfull,and not being rude the Sad word i think was a bit too much soorry everyones different i guess the a practice is a wonderfull thing thank you and also to Wikipedia i think i invovled a colaberation there notethe juction word think now i'll go look up meaning of junction so i will not be in a Nonsence activity wich here relates to a Libel and sourced with meaning a slander be carefull out there.2:49David George DeLancey (talk) 19:50, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


This article needs a "disambiguation" page. "Collaborators" is also the name of a Battlestar Galactica episode. As there are also two disambiguation links at the top of the page, this would already warrant a separate page to redirect to other articles.

I have no idea how to do it myself, unfortunately. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 3 April 2008 (UTC) kk-- (talk) 19:57, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

interwiki links[edit]

I removed the link to the Swedish article sv:Kollaboratör. First of all, the swedish word kollaboratör is translated collaborator and not collaboration. But more importantly; the term is only used in a derogatory fashion. The swedish article states: "A collaborator is a person that is cooperating with an occupying power, or another, towards the own country, hostile military force". As I understand it, this can be expressed in English as well, but it can have a much wider meaning.

I also suspect that this is the case with other interwiki links in the article.

The same problem with the Dutch page: collaboration is translated as 'samenwerken' (this wiki does not exist) Timboliu (talk) 10:03, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

As I said, I removed the Swedish link, but a bot replaced it. Kollaboratör and collaboration needs to be isolated for this to be solved. --Gunst (talk) 09:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Military Industrial Complex?[edit]

Military industrial complex as a concept is out of place in a definition/exploration of "collaboration." There's no analytical purpose for using that category to define collaboration. You might just as easily include the category "literary-publishing juggernaut" and explore how collaboration is used in that realm, etc etc ad infinitum et ad nauseum. Let's get rid of it and just include a list of examples. (talk) 17:45, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

I realize I'm a bit late to answer, but yes, military-industrial complex is out of place here. Most people who use the term have no clue what Eisenhower was really talking about.
If anybody wants to defend this, please do.
-- Randy2063 (talk) 01:23, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

additional entry into the community organization[edit]

I was thinking of adding an additional entry into the community organization section. I'm going to try to incorporate various examples of indigenous American community forms of organization, so as to show how collaboration is seen across different cultural contexts. I have a fair amount of sources to back up these claims as well, so feel free to let me know what any of you think about this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nbaratza (talkcontribs) 21:21, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

General theory of collaboration[edit]

Please have a look and see if there is anything salvageable for use in this article. ~Kvng (talk) 18:27, 13 March 2016 (UTC)