Just one aspect of colloboration from the interesting article Groupthink:
"Jones’s explanation is that scientific advances have led to a situation where all the remaining problems are incredibly hard. Researchers are forced to become increasingly specialized, because there’s only so much information one mind can handle. And they have to collaborate, because the most interesting mysteries lie at the intersections of disciplines. “A hundred years ago, the Wright brothers could build an airplane all by themselves,” Jones says. “Now Boeing needs hundreds of engineers just to design and produce the engines.” The larger lesson is that the increasing complexity of human knowledge, coupled with the escalating difficulty of those remaining questions, means that people must either work together or fail alone. But if brainstorming is useless, the question still remains: What’s the best template for group creativity?"
The artcles different types of colloborative work in different fields from science to art and even measuring the efficieny in some cases. In my own case, out of forty years in resarch, I colloborated mainly during the last years. I found it certainly beneficial both in terms of learning and solving problems that bothered me.
P.S. See the discussion in http://orgtheory.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/creative-groups/