The Advantage and Disadvantage of Collaboration in the Workplace
The most challenging in the business world today is finding new ideas with creative solution to the problem and produce a new better product to be competitive to the other companies and organization across the nation and around the world. Of course technology plays an important role in collaboration.
Collaboration means bringing together the knowledge, skills and ideas including experience of a multiple team members to contribute for the development of new product for a common purpose to achieve business benefit. Collaboration at the conceptual level involves the following: a.) awareness – coordinates the activities and often implements similar functionality. b.) motivation – gain consensus in problem solving or development and tend to create the best possible solution. c.) self-synchronization – decide individuals when things need to happen. d.) participation – participates in collaboration and expects others to participate. e.) mediation – negotiates and collaborates together and finds a middle point. f.) reciprocity – share and expect sharing in return through reciprocity. g.) reflection – thinks and considers alternative h.) engagement – engage rather than wait and see.
Collaboration involves your whole organizational system so everyone in the company is accountable and leadership must be shared. It is also a process in which people see different aspects of problem and then find a possible solutions that go beyond to their limited vision and then generates new ideas and solution. There are 3 types of collaboration as follows:
Team Collaboration - In team collaboration the team members of the group are known, the task given to them are clear, expected reciprocity and explicit time-line and goals. Achieving the goal of the team the members must fulfill their interdependent task within the period time stated.
Community Collaboration - In community collaboration there is shared area of interest and the goal is more focused on learning rather than a task. In here people is more on building and sharing of knowledge rather than completing the projects.
Network Collaboration –In network collaboration it start with individual and self interest and then accumulate to the network s individual add or look for something from the network, it is further than relationship-centric and community collaboration.
Today we are facing a new environment of innovation. We are now in the trend of asking and listening to our customers and working for the cycle of innovation and that demands collaboration. A collaborative workplace helps the individual, team, organization to work together effectively by providing the following: tools, trainings and workshops for effective collaborative decision making.
Tools – there are tools and technologies to facilitate communication and collaboration as follows: Screen Sharing, VoIP – Audio conferencing, Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Web Presenting, Work Grouping, File Sharing, Collaborative Reviewing, Event Scheduling, Mind Mapping, Instant Messaging, project Management.
Trainings and Workshop – a collaborative workplace offers a range of trainings and workshop opportunities. Topics like Employment Mediation, Collaborative Problem Solving, etc.
Advantages of Collaboration
In order an organization can compete with the global market successfully they must apply strategic focus and maintain an organization that have culture that works for a team, community and network types of collaboration. There are many advantages for an organization if they allow and incorporate the collaboration towards employees and to the other organization. One good example if one assignment is too large for one division to handle the project, but can be perfectly split it up and distribute to the other team of a group. But the keystone here in establishing a supportive collaboration is leadership that is based on how a leader embeds their belief and values in the organization. A leader also must create and understand condition for and model team, community and network collaboration.
Another advantage example of collaboration is the decrease of production time because of the distribution or spreading out of resources. Projects have its own time frame and of course technology plays an important role on this time bound like the application of collaboration technology software that makes the work easier and faster. It can also be completed sooner if there is a competition created in the team environment
One more advantage the valuable resource output because of having a multiple people in the group or in short the collaborative intelligence is being applied in a team which is not available for individual work product output. In here different academic and experience background which create more diverse ideas, skills and knowledge towards the project. And also collaboration improves communication among the team members.
Disadvantages of Collaboration
The organization must also be careful because there are also staff in the team that doesn’t perceived the value of collaboration and also collaborating project is stressful so tendency can lead to interpersonal conflict within the group. Therefore pay attention with each other on the value of communicating like listening to each other ideas and make sure also that everybody have a chance to speak and avoid personal insults.
Another disadvantage of collaboration can lead to disjointed documents and can reduce collaborators motivation to work hard on the documents. It is important that the group from the start knows and define their guidelines.
One more disadvantage of collaboration is can lead to inequitable workload therefore take the evaluation process seriously evaluate your own as well as each group member’s effort and of course define your own task.
The most highly successful organization of today is those who have great collaborative team. And building a great team counts on character, leadership development, passion and influencing skills.
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Markel, M. (2004). Collaborating Effectively. Retrieved April 06, 2009 from Technical Communication 7th ed. Website: http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/4310/Collaboration.htm
Wikipidea. Collaboration. Retrieved April 06, 2009 from Wikipidea: The Free Encyclopedia. Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaboration
Callahan, S.,Schenk, M., White, N. ( 2009). Building a Collaborative Workplace. Retrieved April 07, 2009 from SlideShare. Website: http://www.slideshare.net/ShawnCallahan/building-a-collaborative-workplace
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Derby, E. (2004). Hiring a Collaborative Team. Retrieved April 08, 2009 from Computer World Development. Website: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.docommand=viewArticleBasic&articleId=91817
Hackos, J. (2007).Building a Collaborative Team Management. Retrieved April 08, 2009 from Center of Information Development Management. Website: http://www.infomanagementcenter.com/enewsletter/200711/feature.htm
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