A mesolevel communicative model of collaboration

  • Keyton J
  • Ford D
  • Smith F
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Generally theorized and empirically examined as an organization phenomenon, collaboration may be more productively explored from a mesolevel model that simultaneously addresses group, organizational, and public frames. Examining how individuals communicate in those frames revealed four discursive productions of collaboration, which were previously undertheorized. Thus, we propose a communicative model that details the simultaneously occurring communication at multiple levels that gives rise to the emergence and effectiveness of collaborating talk. In this model, communication is no longer described as one of the component(s) of collaboration; communication is elevated to the essence of collaboration. Working from observations and records of a 9-month interorganizational collaboration, this article develops a mesolevel communicative model of collaboration and demonstrates that the bulk of collaborative communication occurs at the team level-indeed, the level where relationships among individuals and organizations is revealed and acted upon.

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  • Joann Keyton

  • Debra J. Ford

  • Faye L. Smith

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