Despite decades of theorizing and research, the communicative nature of “collaboration” remains enigmatic, and multiple models of its application to interorganizational collaborations (IOCs) remain untested. The present study operationalizes collaborative interaction, a term proposed by Lewis (2006), and tests its relationship to proposed antecedents (perceptions of individual and joint goals; human and non-human resource investments in the collaborative project) and a holistic outcome (collaborators’ perceptions of the value of the collaborative project). Participants in the data set tested were disaster response professionals reporting on their perceptions of a recent multi-agency disaster response exercise. Scale-development work refined an original Collaborative Interaction Scale, and the final path model showed strong positive associations between anticipated benefit for the participant’s home organization, the impression that other participating agencies were committed to the IOC’s goals, collaborative interaction behaviors, and collaborators’ evaluation of the value of IOC.
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