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ERIC Number: EJ1132967
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0729-4360
The Paradox of Collaboration: A Moral Continuum
Macfarlane, Bruce
Higher Education Research and Development, v36 n3 p472-485 2017
Collaboration is a modern mantra of the neoliberal university and part of a discourse allied to research performativity quantitatively measured via co-authorship. Yet, beyond the metrics and the positive rhetoric collaboration is a complex and paradoxical concept. Academic staff are exhorted to collaborate, particularly in respect to research activities, but their career and promotion prospects depend on evaluations of their individual achievements in developing an independent body of work and in obtaining research funding. This central paradox, among others, is explored through analysing collaboration as a moral continuum. At one end of this continuum are other-regarding interpretations of collaboration involving the free sharing of ideas for the common good of scientific advance ("collaboration-as-intellectual generosity"), nurturing the development of less experienced colleagues ("collaboration-as-mentoring") and disseminating knowledge claims via a range of scholarly platforms ("collaboration-as-communication"). However, other forms of collaboration are essentially self-regarding illustrating the pressures of performativity via increased research output ("collaboration-as-performativity"), through practices that reinforce the power of established networks ("collaboration-as-cronyism") and the exploitation of junior researchers by those in positions of power and seniority ("collaboration-as-parasitism"). Whilst collaboration has always been at the heart of academic labour its paradoxes illustrate how individual and collective goals can come into conflict through the measurement of academic performance and the way in which such audits have perverted the meaning of collaboration.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A