Collaboration has been appreciated as a vital concept for research and practice in community psychology, especially since the Austin Conference on Training in Community Psychology in 1975 in which the Collaborative Scientist-Practitioner Model was proposed (Gatz & Liem, 1977). Although its importance was unobjectionable, a critical debate on the definition of collaboration is still continuing. Some of the reasons include: a) the use of the word “collaboration” varies across the researchers and the different fields in terms of its targets and the purposes, and b) there is still not common manner of constructing collaborative relationships.
This paper, first, reviews the theoretical and ethical considerations of the definitions and concepts of collaboration, the history of the development of the concepts of collaboration, and the use of collaboration in research and practice in community psychology and related areas. The following part discusses the purposes and products of collaboration, the role of researchers in collaborative relationships among the researchers and the communities, and the various process of constructing collaborative relationship among researchers and communities. In conclusion, a collaborative partnership model is proposed, that satisfies both researchers’ and communities’ needs, and maximises the effect of practice of community psychology.