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Title:A descriptive case study of successes and challenges in a scientific collaboration program based in the United States and Benin
Author(s):Lutomia, Anne Namatsi
Director of Research:Flynn, Karen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kuchinke, Peter K
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Wen-Hao, David H; Li, Jessica
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Human Resource Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):knowledge production
scientific collaboration
global North-South
humanistic values
case study
United States
Abstract:While new patterns of scientific collaboration are now emerging such that scientists in advanced and emerging economies link with those in less developed economies, often based in global South, and generate significant scientific work, little research to date examines the actual practices of these knowledge producing collaborations. Instead, much research focuses on the enabling means for such collaborations. Nonetheless, scientific collaboration, however, is also shaped in key ways by its social norms of practice, any existing structures of knowledge, and the infrastructure of the scientific discipline itself. Moreover, when collaborations occur across the global North-South divide, they can easily belie a neocolonialist dynamic that poorly supports bi-directional ownership, sustainability and development of capacity or potential opportunities for mutually enhancing the competency, skills, and knowledge of the collaboration’s participants. Given the increasing emphasis on global North-South scientific collaborations, it becomes necessary to understand the actual scientific knowledge production collaboration process through empirical research. As such, this dissertation focuses on the process elements of one such collaboration that spans a scientific organization in the United States and another in Benin. Anchored in collaboration theory, social constructivist theory, and postcolonial theory this study explores not only how such global North-South collaborations develop but also the successes and challenges faced by one such collaboration as it unfolded in its series of practices revealed through an in-depth process of case descriptive study research that profiles the lived experiences of 11 Northern- and Southern-based scientists in the collaboration. Atlas ti8, found poetry, and elements of grounded theory strategies were used to analyze the data and develop themes and subthemes. The contribution of this study includes insights into what actually takes place in the processes of a knowledge production scientific collaboration beginning from its establishment, its implementation, and its end-stages in order to understand how scientists make sense of their interactions with each other in North- South collaboration. Experiences of these scientists indicate that personal interactions that lead to relationships, developed trust in one another other, and meeting collaboration goals are key markers of collaborative success. Issues arises from asymmetries of power and funding, on the other hand, present challenges, especially when global North-South dynamics lead to dependency and/or unethical behavior. The study also contributes new insights into how scientists make sense of their goals, actions, and interactions with their collaborators as they address positive and negative memories that arise from various dynamics involving institutional systems, identity, culture, and power that shape international scientific research. This study argues that North-South collaborations have to pursue humanistic values be humanized to mitigate practices that are informed by colonial vestiges and asymmetries of power. The study concludes with a discussion of several considerations for how scholars, policy makers, practitioners and organizations might improve collaborative practices, including ways they might decolonize international scientific research efforts and balance asymmetries in funding/practices by shifting more control to local collaborators. In short, humanizing global North-South collaborations.
Issue Date:2019-12-09
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Anne Namatsi Lutomia
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-02
Date Deposited:2019-12

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