- Unity and diversity in a collaborative research project
- Culture and Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 18 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Studies on crossing boundaries show evidence that diversity in perspectives amongst group members does not need to be overcome by unity in order for collaboration to take place. This study explores what mechanisms of collaboration allow groups to maintain both unity and diversity. A longitudinal study of a Dutch inter-university research project is reported. The analysis considered how the group pursues the aim to function as a unified collective as well as the aim to include diverse project agendas and diverse theoretical perspectives. The results show two mechanisms. The first mechanism refers to an extension of diverse individually into diverse collectively voiced positions. The second mechanism includes a continuous shift in the way these diverse collective positions are constructed. This latter indicates how various types of boundaries are continuously negotiated during collaboration. We conclude that research on crossing boundaries should consider unity and diversity as two dialogically related and multilayered dimensions.
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