Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Jason M. Turner, PhD


United States government agencies have historically experienced problems with inter-agency information sharing and collaboration. In fact, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United Stated recommended that the U.S. government “increase information sharing” and “improve collaboration across government agencies.” To this day, no collaborative tools are being used to fully address that recommendation. In fact, there is little agreement as to what collaboration necessarily means and what characteristics or capabilities are best suited for the design and use of collaborative tools. Before we can improve collaboration across agencies, we need to better understand the nature of collaboration itself, and the hallmarks of better collaborative tools. As such, this research developed a comprehensive definition of collaboration grounded in relevant academic and scholarly research. With this definition in hand, the foundational elements of collaboration were documented and explicitly articulated in the form of a collaborative framework. This framework was then used to assess current trends and state-of-art in collaborative tools and specifically to identify the key elements of better collaborative tools. Six of the nine academic elements of collaboration were strongly supported throughout the assessments indicating which features, functionalities, or aspects of the "collaborative problem space" should be addressed or instantiated within collaborative technologies and tools.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number