Methods of Collaboration

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Methods/Theories of Collaboration
According to Muneera Spence, Oregon State University professor, there are four types of collaborative models: collaboration by chance (no structure to team selection); collaboration by acuity (a team of balanced attributes and knowledge); collaboration by interest (a team with similar interests); and collaboration by leader (a team formed by a leader). Merrill Lynch should employ collaboration by acuity as it is the sector and asset knowledge that is the most valuable in the process. It ensures that all relevant areas have a representative on that topic. There are four roles of acuity: the conceptualist (the idea generator and “visionary”), the formalist (content and structure minded), the role of operations (presenter and recorder of facts), and the technician (technology minded and user of research). If all four roles are present, time savings can be achieved and duplication of effort minimized (Spence). Spence formulated seven rules for collaboration to go with the models: Look for common ground; learn about others; criticize results, not people; give and get respect; proceed slowly; be explicit and clear; and remember the five C’s of communication: clarity, completeness, conciseness, concreteness, and correctness. Jon Katzenbach and Douglas Smith developed the six fundamentals of collaboration: Small numbers of people, complementary skills, common purposes, specific performance goals, shared working approaches, and mutual accountability. It is these attributes that make productive teams, and it is productive teams that can combat the problems of timeliness, relevancy, and communication. The issue becomes how to find the people to staff these teams (Katzenback). Effective collaboration requires trustworthy people, processes and technology (Economics Intelligenence Unit). Without high levels of trust, high buy-in and effective tools, an organization may have coordination or cooperation, but not collaboration....
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