Globalization now allows companies to work around the clock, around the world. It‘s not unusual for major corporations to shift work from one time zone to another, one country to another. Somehow, the people in all the geographically-separated locations have to be able to easily communicate and share information with each other. Working in teams is now becoming the de facto practice in the business world.
What Is Collaboration?
Let‘s first determine exactly what the term collaboration means working with others to achieve shared and explicit goals. All members that involve in collaborative work environment focus on a particular task or mission. Collaboration and teamwork has grown in popularity over the last few years because new technology has made it much easier for people to communicate and share information, files, and documents. Collaboration and teamwork are central to the success of many businesses. Here are six reasons why businesses promote collaboration and teamwork:
- Changing nature of work—traditionally work was organized into silos. Now, most new jobs require interaction among employees, suppliers, and
- Growth of professional work—most professional jobs require close coordination and sharing information and opinions with other
- Changing organization of the firm—traditionally organizations used a managerial hierarchy. Now, many firms have been ―flattened‖ and expertise and decision-making powers are pushed down to groups and
- Changing scope of the firm—globalization has created organizations that are disbursed to many geographically separated locations that require close
- Emphasis on innovation—innovation comes more from teams and groups than from a single Collaborative practices and technologies increase the likely success of innovation.
- Changing culture of work and business—diverse teams tend to produce better outputs and do it faster than
Collaboration among employees, suppliers, and customers is becoming an important tool in increasing a company‘s competitive advantage. Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest help improve a company‘s social business to establish and improve interactions with groups inside and outside the organization. Information sharing, innovation, and decision-making are enhanced through these technologies.
Business Benefits of Collaboration
Nearly all writers agree that collaboration is now more required within and between firms than was true in the past (for reasons outlined above).Some of the benefits of collaboration are discussed below:
- Productivity: People working together can complete a complex task faster than the same number of people working in isolation from one another; there will be fewer
- Quality: People who work collaboratively can communicate errors, and take corrective actions faster, when they work together than if they worked in
- Innovation: People working collaboratively in groups can come up with more innovative ideas for products, services, and administration than the same number working in isolation from one
- Customer Service: People working together in teams can solve customer complaints and issues faster and more effectively than if they were working in isolation from one
- Financial performance (profitability, sales, and sales growth): As a result of all of the above, collaborative firms have superior financial performance
Figure: Requirements for Collaboration