Members of a nursing research cluster realized that they needed to determine whether, given their diverse philosophies, they could formulate a collective research agenda responding to an administrative recommendation. The cluster's leaders conducted an appraisal of the role and importance of trust as an element for promoting collaboration in a nursing research cluster and for building a collective social identity. The Social Exchange Theory framed the appraisal. A survey and a facilitation session about trust in research partnerships were conducted with eight female nursing researchers/faculty. Facilitation day's discussion was fully audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and the content coded using ATLAS.ti 6. Thematic analysis was employed to analyze the qualitative aspects of the recorded discussion and the survey questionnaire explanatory responses. Responses to survey closed-questions were compiled as descriptive statistics. Participants revealed that mutual support, valuing each other and working collaboratively facilitated trust in intellectual partnership. Hindering factors were an environment suppressing expression of ideas and views, lack of open dialogue and decision-making among team members and lack of a sense of belonging. This paper has the potential to contribute to the knowledge of nursing leaders who are intending to develop and sustain nursing research teams in both academic and non-academic organizations. The paper will be especially useful as they deal with issues of trust in intellectual partnership in diverse settings.
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