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A collaboration system consists of a set of tools that create a workflow of information to specific teams and their respective team members. This allows individuals to share their ideas and talents with other members so that the task can be accomplished both efficiently and effectively.
There are numerous factors that influence a collaboration system, but there are two fundamental aspects that not only need to be customized according to the goals, but also need to be taken into consideration when it comes to corporate culture. These two are −
Unstructured collaboration − Chasing answers to the unknown questions, using tools to share information about the problems at stake, and increasing personal productivity.
Structured collaboration − Sharing common knowledge, written rules, structured and set workflow that does not change.
We will basically focus on structured collaboration, as it is widely used in all sectors.
Structured methods of collaboration encourage introspection of behavior and communication. These methods mainly aim to increase the success of the organization as the team gets engaged in collaborative problem solving.
Positive Aspects of Structured Collaboration
- It is easy to organize.
- It is excellent for hierarchal structured organizations.
- It increases proficiency.
- There is no contradiction in relation to information.
- All members on the team understand and acknowledge their position and act accordingly.
Limitations of Structured Collaboration
- It does not foster innovation.
- There is same workflow information with no variance at all.
- It can cause groupthink and conflicts.
- It is intended for repetitive industry.
- It needs to be managed and supervised all the time.
Collaboration According to Corporate Cultures
In order to create a collaborative working environment, the employees need to be motivated and rewarded at times.
For example, a structured collaboration would not fit in the Google corporate culture because Google is very innovative, and loaded with new ideas and challenging unanswered questions. In a structured collaboration, innovation would be non-existent because of the boundary of common knowledge.
On the other hand, a structured collaboration model would fit well under a manufacturing company like MRF because constant workflow is critical to the organization’s output.
In addition to corporate culture, the structure of the firm needs to be examined and evaluated first to get a better understanding of which collaboration model would best fit in.