Barriers in Collaboration

Barriers to collaboration include:

  1. A school culture in which responsibilities for student direction falls in the hands of just a few individuals. 

  2. The encouragement of professionals working in isolation, independently, and relying on oneself to handle problems and responsibilities. 

  3. An imbalance of power in the team.  Power can take form in many different ways:

    • Expert or Referent Power: the power that is afforded to an individual because of their known expertise on a subject.

    • Legitimate Power:  the power that is afforded to an individual because of required compliance (administrators, principals, other leaders).

    • Reward Power: the power this is afforded to an individual because of the perceived rewards attached to that individual.

    • Coercive Power:  the power this is afforded to an individual because of the perceived punishment of not following through or ignoring the suggestions/directions from that individual.

    • Informational Power:  the power this is afforded to an individual because the information in which he/she has provided demonstrated a reason for implementation. 

  4. Pragmatic issues may not allow for collaboration or make it difficult.  That is, due to the layout of the school, the availability of time in working hours of some, covered classes, schedule conflicts, etc. can all be barriers to collaboration.