Collaboration is defined as the process by which partners adopt a high level of purposeful cooperation to maintain a trading relationship over time. The relationship is bilateral; both parties have the power to shape its nature and future direction over time. Mutual commitment to the future and a balanced power relationship are essential to the process. While collaborative relationships are not devoid of conflict, they include mechanisms for managing conflict built into the relationship.
Sources: Monczka, R., Trent, R., & Handfield, R. (1998). Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. Cincinnati, OH: South Western College Publishing.