Bringing Minds Together

by John Abele

WHEN I WAS invited to submit an article to this spotlight on collaboration, the first question I asked was whether the other contributors and I would have the chance to interact and perhaps integrate our ideas on the topic. I knew that Harvard Business Review was deeply rooted in a scholarly tradition—and that worried me. Academic collaboration, I’ve learned over the years, is something of an oxymoron. More often than not, what is described by that term is really non-collaborative, or worse, pseudo-collaborative work, driven by the long-standing rituals of institutional seniority and the professional and financial incentives to build higher silos with thicker walls. That’s a shame since it is our universities ...

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