Challenges in Online Collaboration: The Role of Shared Vision, Trust and Leadership Style

Challenges in Online Collaboration: The Role of Shared Vision, Trust and Leadership Style

Kimiz Dalkir (McGill University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4094-6.ch007

Abstract

This chapter describes a multi-year study on how online collaboration could be effective in the design of a research equipment sharing lab with university and industry partners. More specifically, this chapter focuses on the “soft” challenges of how to establish a shared vision of the project goals, trust among diverse partners, most of whom had never collaborated before this project, and the different leadership model that was required for effective online interactions. Internal obstacles included differences between academic and industrial organizational cultures (publication/patent tension) and the difficulty in establishing trust through online interactions. External obstacles included differences in leadership style (commanding vs. collegial agreement). While there were also logistical issues in the actual sharing of resources, the focus was on online interactions that crossed disciplinary boundaries (amongst university partners) and competition (amongst industrial partners). Collaboration models were useful in assessing online collaboration effectiveness.
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Theoretical Foundation

This section presents a literature review on collaboration and online collaboration, as well as insights in potential barriers and success factors for online collaboration.

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