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National Cancer Institute

Levels of Collaboration Scale

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The Level of Collaboration Scale was developed from existing models and instruments with the purpose of assessing collaboration among grant partners. In developing the instrument, the detailed descriptions of community linkage provided by Hogue (1993) and discussed by Borden and Perkins (1998, 1999) were combined and shortened. Given the definitions of each level of collaboration, respondents are asked to what extent they collaborate with each other grant partner.

Bruce B. Frey, PhD, University of Kansas, Psychology and Research in Education

Is this tool available publicly? Yes - free

Measure Type:


Addresses these goal(s):

  • Conduct research on/evaluate team science

Tag to Construct:

  • Collaboration

Relevant Toolkit Keywords:

levels of collaboration, collaboration, cooperation, grant partners

Brief description of procedure/scoring method:

Given the definitions of each level, respondents were asked to what extent they collaborated with each other grant partner. Answer options were on a scale ranging from 0 to 5, with 0 indicating no interaction at all and 5 indicating the collaboration level, using Hogue’s (1993) taxonomy. Data collected with the Levels of Collaboration Scale can be reported quantitatively using different formats and different summations depending on the interests of evaluators, grant directors, and stakeholders. Collaboration can be reported as the mean level of perceived collaboration across all respondents for all partners, summarized in other meaningful ways, or provided as raw data in a table. Because by definition, collaboration exists only when two or more parties interact with each other, situations in which two partners report different levels of collaboration with each other represent areas for exploration and discussion between those partners. Because the scale assesses perceptions of collaboration, different perceptions by two collaborating partners may both be valid responses. Because patterns of collaboration among multiple entities may be complex, data on collaboration may best be represented visually. In our collaboration maps, connecting arrows between circles (partners) indicate that partners reported moderate or high levels of collaboration with one another. On the map, collaboration levels reported as 0 or 1 are not represented with lines. This allows for four types (or thicknesses) of lines to be used to represent the variety of levels, with thicker lines indicating higher levels of collaboration. The two numbers in each circle reflect, first, the number of partners with whom each entity collaborates and, second, the mean level of collaboration across all partners. The sizes of the circles are based on the levels of collaboration with other groups, as represented by the number of links with other circles. Size criteria and the number of sizes used depend on the variability across partners. For these data, we use three relative circle sizes: small for one or two links, medium for three to six links, and large for seven links or more. We also use broken or dotted lines for four circles to indicate groups that did not respond to the scale but were response options. In other words, arrows could go toward them but not come from them. (see reference articles for more information)

Reliability/Validity/Psychometric Properties:

When collaboration data were collected at the start of the 2nd year, test-retest data were collected from all key respondents. Correlations of stability for respondents ranged from .69 to .97, with a mean eliability coefficient of .87 (SD = .09.) Test-retest reliability data were again collected during the third annual administration of the survey. Data from 8 respondents produced a mean testretest correlation of .81 (SD = .29). On a fourth occasion, 1 year later, reliability estimates were again encouraging, with a mean r value of .85 (SD = .08, n = 9). Although each reliability study was small, the consistency of results above .80 suggests that the instrument can produce stable scores. Larger scale studies are necessary before stronger conclusions can be made, however.

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Resource created by Janet Okamoto on 3/31/2011 4:00:40 PM.

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