Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 36 Number 1 2019 pp. 74-119

A Program of Collaboration Engineering Research and Practice: Contributions, Insights, and Future Directions

De Vreede, Gert-Jan and Briggs, Robert O


Collaboration Engineering (CE) is an approach for the design and deployment of repeatable collaborative work practices that can be executed by domain experts without the ongoing support of external collaboration professionals. Since 2001, CE has been an active and productive topic of research that has attracted scientists from different backgrounds and disciplines. CE research started with studies on ways to transfer professional collaboration expertise to novices using a pattern language called thinkLets. Subsequent research focused on the development of theories to explain key phenomena, the development of a structured design methodology, training methods, technology support, design theories, and various field and experimental studies focusing on specific aspects of the CE approach. This paper details the contributions from CE research and practice based on a literature assessment of 331 publications. It extracts the key insights from the body of CE research thus far, identifies significant areas of inquiry that have not yet been explored, and looks ahead at the CE research opportunities that are emerging as our society, organizations, technologies, and the nature of collaboration evolve.

Key words and phrases: collaboration engineering, collaboration, thinkLets, patterns of collaboration, online collaboration