(Ans) Collaboration can be defined as a process, where two or more people or organizations work together to achieve shared goals by sharing knowledge, learning, and building consensus.
In order to explore the nature of the practice of collaboration, the author has specifically focused on some of the concepts which challenges the individuals involved in collaborative alliance. Two main concepts have been explored to justify the challenges of the individuals. They are (i) Collaborative advantage, and (ii) Collaborative inertia. There exist dilemmas between these two concepts. Both the terms create a dilemma and a question arise of – “If achievement of collaborative advantage is the goal for those who initiate collaborative arrangements, why is collaborative inertia so often the outcome.” [Huxham, C, and Vangen, S. p- 53] These two concepts draw out the reason of what is always taken as granted in collaboration and what actually happens. Such perspectives results in collaborative inertia, even if the goal is to achieve the collaborative advantage.
(i) Collaborative Advantage – This is the positive experience of collaborative alliances, which captures the synergy argument. The term has been defined as the beneficial factor or combination of factors one should achieve from collaboration. Partnership which handles social issues that would otherwise fall apart and help in development is defined as collaborative advantage. To understand the meaning of collaborative advantage we should know the common bases for collaborative advantage. These bases include –
Access to resource - One of the reasons to collaborate is to take advantage of resources. For example, an inter-company collaborates to place a product in the market where one company produces a product and the other company opens the access of market. So each company is taking the advantage of another company by using the resources like expertise, knowledge, raw materials, marketing strategy.
Shared Risk – “Sharing of risk as a reason for collaboration Is, in a sense, the direct opposite of the access to resource argument”. [Huxham, C,and Vangen, S. p- 4]. In this case risk of losing, while working alone, is shared between two companies For example, organizations like cost intensive research and development organization collaborates to share the similar resources.
Efficiency – First perspective is efficiency in public service delivery. For example, public-private collaboration has been promoted by the government because private enterprises are more efficient in providing services than public enterprises. Second perspective is gains due to the economies of scale. For example, companies may outsource support activities such as cleaning and catering to other companies so that the other companies can gain economies of scale through contracts with other organizations to provide these services. Third perspective is about operational efficiency. For example purchasing companies can gain efficiency...