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Conceptualising collaboration in context: an exploration of the collaborative experiences of academics in health and social care

By Karen Kniveton


This thesis contains the findings of a qualitative research project that addressed the question ‘why collaborate? Focus was on the\ud experiences of academics in health and social care collaborating to develop interprofessional and interdisciplinary initiatives, including\ud interprofessional education (IPE). The project was based upon the premise, first, that academics need to collaborate effectively if interprofessional initiatives like IPE are to develop and be sustained and secondly, that theory building in relation to collaboration will assist our understanding of why collaborations are formed and why some are sustained and some are not. Research focus in this field has, mostly,\ud focussed on student experiences and the desire to identify the impact of IPE. The project aimed to address the under researched area of collaboration between academics. Data was generated from individual interviews and focus groups with academics from six universities.\ud Respondents shared their experiences of collaborating with colleagues from a range of professions and disciplines. The project utilised a Charmazian constructivist grounded theory methodology and the writings of Pierre Bourdieu were used at the data analysis stage. The thesis\ud details the emergent categories: motivation-dispositions; career trajectories; personal-relationships; leadership and field change, which\ud assist our understanding of what helps and what hinders collaboration. The inter-relationships between the four emergent categories are outlined\ud and a theory of collaboration between academics in health and social care is presented

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