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Keywords:

  • collaboration;
  • international;
  • management;
  • research;
  • SWOT analysis

Aim

This paper critically reviews the literature on international collaboration and analyses the collaborative process involved in producing a nursing workforce policy analysis.

Background

Collaboration is increasingly promoted as a means of solving shared problems and achieving common goals; however, collaboration creates its own opportunities and challenges. Evidence about the collaboration process, its outcomes and critical success factors is lacking.

Methods

A literature review and content analysis of data collected from six participants (from five European countries) members of the European Academy of Nursing Science Scholar Collaborative Workforce Workgroup, using a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis template.

Results

Two major factors affecting scholarly collaboration were identified: Facilitators, which incorporated personal attributes and enabling contexts/mechanisms, including individual commitment, responsibility and teamwork, facilitative supportive structures and processes. The second, Barriers, incorporated unmet needs for funding; time; communication and impeding contexts/mechanisms, including workload and insufficient support/mentorship.

Conclusions

The literature review identified a low level of evidence on collaboration processes, outcomes, opportunities and challenges. The SWOT analysis identified critical success factors, planning strategies and resources of effective international collaboration.

Implications for Nursing Management

Collaboration is an important concept for management. Evidence-based knowledge of the critical success factors facilitating and impeding collaboration could help managers make collaboration more effective.