Advantages and Disadvantages of Collaboration

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Global competition, rapid changes in technology and a shift in demographics has resulted in fewer people doing more work as organizations outsource, downsize, reengineer or restructure to remain competitive. In the article, The Collaborative Workplace, Edward Marshall states that these structural changes have lead to increased instability, fear and reduce productivity. With fewer employees, organizations are rethinking how they lead and manage the workplace. One solution is to transformation the workplace from the traditional corporate top-down hierarchy to a collaborative workplace (Marshall, 1995). A collaborative workplace "redefines the corporate structure, replacing the pyramid model with a circle. Everyone in the company is accountable, and leadership is shared. The old idea of ‘lead, follow, or get out of the way' is replaced with a philosophy that creates trust and cooperation among everyone in the company" (Marshall, 1995). The traditional framework for managing may not be practical or relevant when jobs are redesigned, positions are no longer well defined or employees lack the skills to perform in a highly technical work environment. Therefore, the collaborative framework is one way of working that allows organizations to do more with less. Collaboration is "a principle-based process of working together that produces trust, integrity and break-through results by building true consensus, ownership and alignment in all aspects of the organization" (Marshall, 1995). The collaborative workplace is predicated on the principle that the organization is strategically focused and guided by a set of core values for cross-functional, self governed teams.


To successfully compete in the global market, an organization must have a strategic focus and maintain a culture that is guided by honor, dignity, honesty, integrity and the core values of a collaborative workplace: trust, ownership, consensus decision-making,...
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