What are the 3 types of collaboration?

In this article, we will be discussing the 3 types of collaboration. We shall also describe the important skills for collaboration and different strategies to use for effective collaboration in an organization. In addition, we will look at the ways through which collaboration leads an organization to success.

What are the 3 types of collaboration?

The 3 most common types of collaboration in the workplace are:

  • Team collaboration between team members
  • Community collaboration for the purpose of learning
  • Network collaboration to meet with other professionals

Collaboration is implemented widely in organizations in an effort to bring employees together and help them achieve a lot more. However, the understanding of this concept is not that clear even though it happens without us even knowing about it. In order to make it effective and efficient in the organization, the various types of collaboration need to be understood. These are:

Team collaboration between team members

In this type of collaboration, a group of individuals work closely together for a certain purpose. The extent of this collaboration can be for the duration of the particular project. The process requires a proper goal and delegation of tasks. It also requires a common set of values which all the team members follow for a smoother workflow.

Community collaboration for the purpose of learning

In community collaboration, the various individuals work together for the purpose of learning more. It can be to learn new skill sets and concepts and also to sharpen one’s existing skill set. This kind of collaboration is used by professionals of all levels and can take the forms of seminars, courses, workshops, etc.

Network collaboration to meet with other professionals

Network collaborations are mainly used to share information with other professionals in the same industry. It can also be used to interact with those who share similar interests. Information can be shared in the form of files, images, documents, job opportunities, recommendations, etc. Network collaborations mainly use digital platforms like forums and social media websites.

There are also several other types of collaborations, of which a few are described below:

Video collaborations for communication

This kind of collaboration is used for communication between team members who are located in various places. It is used extensively by remote teams all over the world. Video collaborations may also be used to conduct meetings, seminars and workshops, which otherwise cost the organization a lot in terms of money, space and effort.

Strategic alliances to share resources

Strategic alliances are one of the oldest forms of business collaborations. In strategic alliances, two or more organizations create an agreement between themselves, which allows them to share resources and knowledge in order to achieve a specific purpose. Strategic alliances usually have a strict time-frame up to which the collaboration stands.

Portfolio collaborations to expand business

In portfolio collaborations, one large organization connects with several smaller organizations for many different purposes. The large organization called the ego-firm usually seeks out these smaller companies or brands in order to expand its customer population. It can also help the smaller companies set up their protocols in a proper order and be coached and mentored.

Cross-functional collaboration between functionalities

Cross-functional collaborations are highly essential in an organization. Here, various functionalities or departments in an organization interact with each other and work together to achieve goals. Cross-functional collaboration itself has great benefits for an organization and can lead to the creation of innovative products and designs.

Cloud collaboration for project management

Cloud collaboration is becoming highly common in businesses these days. Through this, team members can access their work from any location through cloud technology. They can also easily communicate with each other and also work on tasks as a team together. Cloud collaboration is highly secure, giving an added advantage to the organization.

Open collaboration for idea generation

Organizations use open-collaboration for the main purpose of generating a large number of ideas and concepts. In open collaboration, many individuals gather together to interact and discuss. These individuals might be from inside the organization as well as from outside the organization. Through open collaborations, organizations can gain a lot of useful feedback.

Important skills for collaboration

In order to collaborate successfully with each other, team members need to be equipped with the right skills. Some of these skills are explained in this section:

Open and honest communication

In order to collaborate effectively, team members need to be open and honest in their communication. This also means clear and concise while communicating. Communication does not only refer to oral communication but also written communication as well as non-verbal communication. Team members need to know how to use all these forms well.

Knowledge of collaboration tools

Since organizations today are implementing collaboration tools, team members need to have good knowledge of them. Team members need to understand which tool to use for what and also how to use all of their features. In addition, team members may also need to be aware of the various etiquettes and rules while using digital collaboration tools.


Open-mindedness is another quality that team members need to have for smooth collaboration. When teams are open-minded, it helps them share new ideas and opinions with each other. It may also allow them to be more accepting of unconventional methods and processes, thus paving the way for innovation and creativity.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is another important requisite for collaboration. When an individual has high emotional intelligence, they can empathize with others and understand team members better. With the help of emotional intelligence, a team can run smoothly with lesser misunderstandings and conflicts.

Mutual trust and respect

There needs to be mutual trust and respect between the team members for the collaboration to be effective. If team members don’t trust each other, they will not seek the guidance and support of each other. And thus, they will not collaborate. For trust to be present in a team, the leaders need to first display high trustworthiness.

Strategies for effective collaboration

For effective collaboration, various strategies can be used in the team. This can be guided by the management or the leaders. It can also be decided by the team members and put in effect through the work process. Some strategies that can be used for effective collaboration are described below:

  • By setting smart goals for the team to achieve
  • By establishing clear roles and responsibilities
  • Building trust in the team
  • Using open and honest communication
  • Socializing outside work
  • Learning new skills together
  • Encouraging collaboration in other tasks
  • Understanding and celebrating diversity
  • Acknowledging individual accomplishments
  • Celebrating team successes
  • Using team-building activities
  • Demonstrating collaborative practices by leaders
  • Implementing the right collaboration tools

Importance of collaboration for an organization’s success

Collaboration can bring many advantages to an organization, leading to its success both in business terms as well as the people involved. This happens because:

Collaboration encourages creativity and innovation

Collaboration greatly encourages creativity and innovation in the team. Since collaboration creates an open-minded and non-judgmental attitude in the team, more ideas and suggestions can be generated. Collaboration also uses different platforms for discussion and brainstorming which can be used by team members who have varying working styles.

Collaboration makes information easily accessible

Many a time, it is the protected information and data that hinders teamwork in an organization. When employees are kept in the dark, they will not be committed to the organization and may reduce their participation levels. With this in mind, organizations are using collaboration technologies that can widely improve the access to information, bringing everyone closer.

Collaboration improves performance reviews

Performance reviews are not exactly a happy occasion for many employees. Since these evaluations mostly use an objective perspective and are highly profit-oriented, they can overlook the other measures that are important for an organization like collaboration and teamwork. Many organizations today use assessments that are more person-centered, thus focusing on growth.

Collaboration increases job satisfaction

Many research studies claim that employees are more satisfied in organizations which encourage collaboration. They also stay at these organizations for longer periods of time. Thus, collaboration leads to a lesser turnover rate in the organization. When employees find more satisfaction in their jobs, they work with more enthusiasm and yield more results.

Collaboration makes meetings highly successful

Meetings can be such a bore and a waste of time if they are not conducted with the right intention and planning. Collaboration not only gives meetings more purpose, but also increases the engagement and participation of the team members. In this manner, the meetings have more idea generation and healthy discussions.

Collaboration focuses on the bigger picture

Through collaboration, leaders and employees can focus on the bigger picture. This means working with a better sense of purpose, knowing your work is positively impacting the people around you. This increases the commitment of employees to the organizational goals and motivates them to put in more effort.


In this article, we have discussed the 3 types of collaboration. We have also described the important skills for collaboration and different strategies to use for effective collaboration in an organization. Additionally, we have mentioned the ways through which collaboration leads an organization to success.

Frequently asked questions: (What are the 3 types of collaboration?)

What is a collaboration information system?

A collaboration information system is a piece of technology that helps people communicate with each other virtually in a digital setting. They can also share files and documents with each other. Collaboration information systems have become all the more popular after COVID-19. This can help remote teams easily collaborate and work together.

What are the tools and technologies for collaboration and social business?

The various tools and technologies for collaboration and social business are described as follows:

Chat platforms

Through chat platforms, team members can send instant messages to each other and communicate. These platforms have features that support one-on-one interactions as well as mass messaging. Chat apps can be used for both synchronous as well as asynchronous collaborations, and thus team members can use them with ease.

Video conferencing tools

Video-conferencing tools are widely used by teams that work remotely. Using these tools, team members can see each other on a virtual platform even though are in different geographical locations. They can also be used to host or attend meetings. These tools not only improve the communication process but also minimize costs for the organization.

File-sharing software

Since team members may need to share files and documents with each other, they can use this software to make the process easier. Through file-sharing software, files of different sizes can be shared easily with one another. It also usually is integrated with cloud technology which lessens security risks while simplifying access to the right persons at the same time.




Definition and Types of Collaboration in Business








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