The Evolution of Collaborative Work

The Evolution of Collaborative Work

Tim Rahschulte (George Fox University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-533-9.ch002
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Abstract

Organizational designs and the organization of work have evolved over time, but the essence of collaboration has always been paramount, especially for organizations seeking efficiency, effectiveness, and survivability. Starting with a biblical reference, then reviewing animal pack mentality, and thoroughly detailing the innovativeness of human interaction, this chapter explores the evolution of collaborative work.
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“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too), those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin

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Collaborating Work For Food And Profit

Organizational designs have evolved over time, but the essence of collaboration has always been paramount in any work aimed at survival and continual improvement. Before moving into much detail, the notion of collaboration warrants a practical definition and needs to be differentiated from coordination and cooperation. In short, collaboration is about ‘co-laboring’ together and in a process – a core process – for advanced organisms (Miles, Miles, & Snow, 2005; Jassawalla, Sashittal, & Hemant, 2006) and the most interdependent of the three (Phillips, Hardy, & Lawrence, 1998).

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