The difference between cooperation and collaboration when to use each approach

What is the difference between Collaboration and Cooperation?

The difference between cooperation and collaboration when to use each approach – Collaboration is similar to cooperation but takes it to a higher level with active participation of all the members in collaboration.

When different people or organisations come together to achieve a certain objective, they adopt a shared strategy shelving their individual approaches, this is what is involved in collaboration.

On the other hand, pooling together of resources and doing one’s bit for a shared cause is what characterises cooperation.

Cooperation is opposite of standing alone or competing, but collaboration is active participation in a shared endeavor.

There is a more formal approach in collaboration than cooperation.

Teams in a working or, indeed in a sporting situation, members have to both cooperate and collaborate in order to achieve their desired goals.

Collaboration is a coordinated, synchronous activity that is the result of a continued attempt to construct and maintain a shared conception of a problem.

Cooperation is accomplished by the division of labor among participants as an activity where each person is responsible for solving a portion of the problem.

The reality is that true collaboration is hard — and it doesn’t mean compromise or consensus-building.

It means giving up control to other people.

It means being vulnerable.

It means needing to know when to fall on your sword and when to back down.

Collaboration is inherently messy.

Great ideas need some tension; otherwise they would be easy to make.

And ultimately, there needs to be respect — of other people’s roles, thoughts and what they bring to the table.

And there also needs to be trust – without trust neither cooperation nor collaboration can be achieved effectively.

Some of the best collaboration has come from broad diversity.

Bringing in truly different thinkers, looking outside of the industry, finding people with different belief systems, different values, different walks of life.

That type of thinking fosters a true culture of collaboration.

Some ways to think differently about collaboration:

  • Do we have true diversity of thought and have we empowered everyone to participate (including diversity of background, role, experience, etc.)?
  • Is there a hidden bias towards the most senior person’s ideas (that’s inhibiting true collaboration!)?
  • Are we stretching our team’s thinking and encouraging participation from all points of view?
  • Are we just bringing partners to the table, or are we respecting everyone’s time and contribution — giving them credit and ownership?
  • And are we clear around the expectation of roles and outcome — so people don’t participate in a process that’s unsatisfying for all?

Humans cooperate for the same reasons as other animals: immediate benefit, genetic relatedness, and reciprocity, but also for particularly human reasons, such as honesty signaling (indirect reciprocity), cultural group selection, and for reasons having to do with cultural evolution.

Language allows humans to cooperate on a very large scale. Certain studies have suggested that fairness affects human cooperation; individuals are willing to punish at their own cost (altruistic punishment) if they believe that they are being treated unfairly.

Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal.

Collaboration is similar to cooperation. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group.

Teams that work collaboratively often access greater resources, recognition and rewards when facing competition for finite resources.

Structured methods of collaboration encourage introspection of behavior and communication.

Such methods aim to increase the success of teams as they engage in collaborative problem-solving.

In its applied sense,”(a) collaboration is a purposeful relationship in which all parties strategically choose to cooperate in order to accomplish a shared outcome.”

Collaboration and Cooperation

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