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Cooperation Teamwork Collaboration – What’s the Difference?

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Cooperation Teamwork Collaboration

Is it possible to achieve a goal by interchanging teamwork with collaboration or are the two words “cooperation “and “collaboration” with same meaning? Most of us treat as synonyms. But I believe with some other angle which may help to achieve goal in more effective manner


When two or more people are share information and resources in pursuit of individual goals then “Cooperation “come in the picture.


I have placed “Teamwork” up a notch of “cooperation” because the individuals share a common goal.

Here definitely require cross-functional actions to achieve a goal, e.g. putting on a company trade show. Teams form as needed and disperse when the goal is reached.


Collaboration becomes necessary when interdependence are so great that without a shared purpose, the goal could not be achieved. And just to make things more complicated, collaboration can occur among strangers, and even competitors. Who, by the way, may also have competing goals.

Collaborations also don’t have one supreme leader. Unlike in teams where you have one leader held responsible for the outcome, collaborative leadership is context-dependent. During collaborations, leaders arise when and as needed. People easily adapt to and even demand these leaders show up. People become emotionally attached to and engaged in the shared purpose. They’ll work hard to fulfill it. Even if they don’t agree with the current goal they’re working to meet.

Moreover, these symbiotic relationships don’t go away — they are an on-going part of daily business life. In a truly collaborative culture, this is business as usual. It’s messy, but ultimately this is where innovation comes from.


Collaboration is a continuum — learn to use the aspect that’s most effective for your specific circumstance. If you want to become a collaborative culture, you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you. But you can start today by: modeling the collaboration continuum in your own work, identifying where you have cooperation, teamwork, and collaborations going on now, and giving your folks a few tools and thoughtful, simple rules to get on the collaboration path.

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Sudipta Kr Maiti
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Sudipta Kr Maiti

Founder at Tune Up Success
Sudipta Kr Maiti-An Engineer- a father-a common man-with -common-life experience- the mind behind Tune Up Success. Want to inspire you with simplicity and openness and promise to enhance your efficiency and capabilities towards success. Welcome, Happy Tuning..!!
Sudipta Kr Maiti
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