Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael T. Braun, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael T. Brannick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sandra Schneider, Ph.D.


collaborator, decision, expertise, homophily, seeking, similarity


This study looked at how individuals choose whom to work with when a task necessitates collaboration. Prior research done on collaborative environments as well as outcomes of collaboration suggests that who you collaborate with will depend on two primary factors: the individuals from which you have to choose and the circumstances surrounding the task. In the proposed study, these factors will be explored. This thesis identified the lack of literature on informal collaboration, addressing the gap in the literature regarding processes that individuals use when choosing collaborators. This research focused on the influencing factors of similarity and expertise involved in this decision processes. Furthermore, this study aimed to understand how individuals choose collaborators under differing conditions of difficulty, novelty, and interdependence necessitated by the task.

Included in

Psychology Commons