Collaborating for good : building a virtual reality simulation to improve health outcomes in the urban slums of India.


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This research studies a cross-discipline, cross-cultural, and cross-sector collaborative process used to build a virtual reality simulation (VRS). The VRS is part of a social innovation collaboration (SIC) project to improve health outcomes in India’s urban slums. The SIC includes a hospital, two universities, two technology companies and the community that collaborated for 15-months to build the VRS. By analyzing data generated from the SIC meetings, interviews, emails, and project documents, we found that these collaborations are wrought with contradictions primarily coming from competing allegiances between each organization’s control structure and the goals of the SIC. This study reports on the contradictions and discusses macro- and micro-level mechanisms the SIC team used to keep contradictions from escalating to conflict and thwarting the project. This study offers guidance to creating successful SICs that use technology to address health and poverty in developing countries. Theoretically, we integrate structuration and role conflict theories.



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