The Remote Weekly goes out every Wednesday and brings to you original content, product tips and latest stories around remote working.
Cooperation vs Collaboration
Cooperation vs Collaboration - two terms which are largely used interchangeably but differ fundamentally. Read more about the difference with examples.
It often happens that the two words, cooperation and collaboration get mixed up and are used to talk about the same thing. However, there is a difference in these two terms. Though these could often be confused to define the same thing, the fact that they actually imply different things will be made clear with the help of the examples given in the following. We will see in detail how cooperation vs collaboration differ and also the places where they could be used to mean the same thing, focusing in particular on how it happens in a remote work setting.
The Cambridge English dictionary puts these two words in a vastly similar set of words. Cooperation is given as 'the act of working together with someone or doing what they ask you.' Collaboration, on the other hand is given as 'the situation of two or more people working together to create or achieve the same thing.' It is tough making sense of where the two differ since they have a similar use of words. We will try a simpler approach to this.
How do we understand Cooperation vs Collaboration?
Consider the goal and the steps taken to achieve it. Here, in any team, you will follow a set of steps, have shared resources, and also share info with your team members. This does not mean that you are working for the exact same thing. It simply means that you have to work in the same setting and get to your own goal. On the other hand, there will be a smaller group or a team with whom you have to achieve the same goal and complete the exact same task. This is to a large extent because the project you are working on is the same and the task has to be achieved as a team. With this understanding of the process and the goal, we will see in detail cooperation vs collaboration.
This is the process. The steps you take to get to your own goal and how you work with the rest of the people in your office comes under this. For example, you might want to print a copy of an important document. For this, you will ask a member also in your office if the printer is available. Then you will go and stand beside the printer and if it's in use by another person, you will wait for the person to finish. You are here cooperating with this person. Shared tools and ideas, but not a common goal. In a way, cooperation can be thought of as 'putting up.'
This is the result. When you work with people in your design team and all put together ideas, that is collaboration. The team works towards getting the same project done. A combination of ideas given by various members of the team. Every member has a role in this. This is more in line with the words 'working with.' Collaboration is of various forms. While we talk about giving ideas for a particular thing, this can be simply communicating, too. Even talking about the work on a particular project will count as collaborating.
Does the above take on collaboration vs communication make sense? Do let us know your suggestions. Also, check out our other blogs: