Exploring capacity tensions in collaboration: Challenges and strategies

 Date and time

Noon to 1 p.m. MST


UCENT 480a Online



                    Exploring capacity tensions in collaboration:                                                        Challenges and strategies

                                                           Thursday, March 14

                                                              12-1pm MST

                                                             UCENT 480a

                                         Or via zoom: https://asu.zoom.us/j/4465989202

Dr. Danbi Seo

Assistant Professor

School of Community Resources and Development


People and organizations join collaboration to complement and strengthen their existing capacity, broadly defined. By doing so, they seek to achieve outcomes they could not otherwise achieve. However, people and organizations entering collaboration must first invest their capacity to build collaboration until it is developed enough to produce intended outcomes. This creates a challenge of ongoing work versus deferred gains, which I identify as “capacity tensions.” In this seminar, I will talk about the processes of managing capacity tensions and sustaining collaboration. I will share the findings from a case study on a nonprofit collaboration that struggled constantly with capacity tensions yet persisted for several years with some meaningful achievements. Drawing on the unique longitudinal data from 165 interviews with 27 collaboration participants over 11 rounds of interviews, participant observations, and archival documents between 2016 and 2020, I show the presence of ongoing capacity tensions in collaboration and suggest internal and external coping strategies. Based on the analysis, I propose a process model to demonstrate how capacity tensions in collaboration are navigated, whether successfully or not.

Contact information: