Collaboration and Group Working

When I started researching collaborative theory I found it quite hard. As Stahl (2013) says there is no one theory of collaboration. However there are many good points from other theories and studies that will help grow my knowledge of collaboration – Some for general collaboration and some more specific to me.

A few points that are relevant are from Eslbach in the article Creative Collaboration and the Self-Concept (2013). First of all they say “To help generate creative solutions, most large corporations encourage workers to collaborate on projects and to act as ‘good colleagues’ by sharing useful information”. This is essentially the most basic form of collaboration, the sharing of ideas and “useful Information” that can help further a creative project – without this there is no collaboration. Later in the article they talk about how collaboration and creativity link and grows through the sharing of different opinions, approaches and problem solving. This meaning that it is the use of another mind that can help solves problems that you alone cannot solve, this can come from having different backgrounds and experience or simply have a different way of thinking. Another point that they mention is that some people don’t work too well together. Their point is that those that can “add economical value through creativity” can be the hardest types to work with. As mush as collaboration can create amazing things and on the whole can lead to bigger and greater projects, it can also be very hard to do any work at all if collaborating with the wrong people. It is a fact of life that some people do not get on, but that is essential to a successful working collaboration. Finally, another factor that they talk about is the social identity of a group. They state, “The role of social identity in facilitating collaborations is clear. Researchers have found that group identification can mediate the relationship between demographic diversity and collaborative behaviors in a workgroup”.

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