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Collaboration and Socio-Psychological Relations

Collaboration in CRN would be based on the gift or return and on the distribution of symbolic goods. Therefore, social and psychological relations would move actors. The coauthorship networks formed within research groups harbor beginners, residents, tenured doctor-researchers, advisers, students, recent doctors, scholars, transients like postdocs, visiting scholars, terminators, or researchers senior at the end of their careers. The positions of a relative or intense hierarchy, depending on the area of knowledge, point out to deferred and different return depending on the positions and investments of network actors.

Bourdieu would say that the “silence regarding the exchange of truth is a shared silence.” In this sense, information circulating inside the network would still be a common knowledge, though not always a scientific knowledge. Sometimes, it is a tacit knowledge, the know-how. Considering that collaboration is based on exchange, the gift, and not everyone knows what one knows, it features a social and psychological phenomenon that polarizes relationships, symbolic or not, between the dominant type and the dominated one. The practice shows that there is a certain socializing mission in each network or, in other words, the socialization of the young, newcomers in the field, by the older, dominant, senior or terminator. In these sociopsychological processes, a sense of belonging and growing trust is developed.

Collaborative relations point then to another component. Instead of the symbolic immediate profit, ambiguous and even perverse relationships may give rise to complex games around the production of knowledge. There would be potential strength solutions in collaborative networks. As we consider the network configuration, we see a human group that includes a socio-psychological face including relationship difficulties, including a face of the visible and invisible hierarchies in the group, and including a dimension ofindividual and collective expectations, the face of veiled and unveiled interests, sometimes not manifest.

In the sense of the different facets of the human in each community, we propose self-evaluation processes with the actors’ protagonist and participation. Evaluative efforts could serve as an objective incorporation of products for distribution of symbolic capital, both scientific and social. When receiving something from someone, the members of a network tend to offer an exchange. Successful interaction is stimulating for reciprocal exchanges. Even interactive processes taking place in the internal system- level group receive external influences and, ecologically, adapt themselves to the environment in which they develop.

The subjects in interaction do not combine as a perfect gas, losing their identities; on the contrary, they acquire identity when attracted spontaneously around common objectives and goals (Grillo, 1986). Interactive processes can contribute to the statement of the individualities, and also to the differences, if they discover the psychological perspectives that affect the human beings in relationship.

Since Kurt’s Lewin studies, conducted in the USA from 1939 to 1946, and after the literature on group dynamics of the 1960s and 1970s that followed him, the group is considered as a source of learning. Departing from the postwar time, variables that affect group dynamics were intensively studied. The studies brought understandings about changes, cooperation or collaboration, productivity, motivation, performance standards, peer pressure, group cohesion, prejudices, tensions, conflicts, leadership, and other issues. So much so that the topic of groups and group interactions grew over the last century and was appropriated by areas such as psychology, psychotherapy, philosophy, sociology, education, systems analysis, management, computer science and artificial intelligence, among others. We can retain from these studies the notion ofthe group, as people linked by interaction, interaction being understood as a precursor of or as the biggest engine behind collaboration.

“Interaction starts and continues from the moment in which the group members share anything they want or need” (Grillo, 1986, p. 68).

While searching for social and psychological studies about collaboration, we must yet discuss one of the most important components of group collaboration, the learning component, the contribution of shared cognition to makeup a productive agency inside an RN.

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