Hierarchical collaborations are projects that are clearly structured, goal-oriented, and define clear roles for its participants.

In projects that follow what Andrea Lunsford and Lisa Ede refer to as “hierarchical collaborations”, milestones and deadlines are set at the beginning of the project and are often tied to professional rewards that stand-in for a paycheck: recommendation letters, all-expenses-paid conference trips, guest speaking invitations, and so forth.

Hierarchical collaboration can be contrasted with dialogic collaboration which are more loosely structured in nature.


  • Lunsford, Andrea, and Lisa Ede. Singular Texts/Plural Authors: Perspectives on Collaborative Writing. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1990, p. 133.