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Saturday, January 23, 2016

27 Facts and 11 Conclusions About Collaboration

12:39:00 PM Posted by Oscar Berg No comments
I have read a few reports and articles presenting findings from recent research on collaboration and picked up a number of facts about collaboration that I find interesting or useful. I hope you think so too.

  1. Compared to two decades ago, the time managers and employees spend on collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more. (1)
  2. 20% to 35% of value-added collaborations typically come from only 3% to 5% of employees.(1)
  3. 20% of organizational “stars” don’t contribute to the success of their colleagues after they have hit their own numbers and earned kudos for it. (1)
  4. Men are 36% more likely to share knowledge and expertise than women. (1)
  5. Women are 66% more likely than men to help others in need  - an action that typically costs more time and energy than sharing knowledge and expertise. (1)
  6. 73% believe their organization would be more successful if employees were able to work in more flexible and collaborative ways. (2)
  7. 56% pointed out collaboration-related measure as the factor that will have the greatest impact on their organization’s overall profitability. (2)
  8. 88% agree that a culture of knowledge-sharing
 and collaboration correlates to high employee morale and job satisfaction. (2)
  9. 53% are confident that collaboration is having a positive and tangible impact on their organization.
  10. 20%, a significant minority, still aren’t convinced collaboration has a positive and tangible impact on their organization. (2)
  11. People tend to lie more when collaborating on a joint effort when they believe it will result in a better outcome for both, if they engage in collusion. (3)
  12. People primed to think of themselves in an organizational context (e.g., co-worker) felt less motivated to reciprocate and did reciprocate less than those in an otherwise parallel personal (e.g., friend or acquaintance) situation. Organizational contexts reduce people’s obligation to follow the moral imperative of the norm of reciprocity. (4)
  13. Matrixed organizations perform better at collaboration than less matrixed. (5)
  14. Supermatrixed employees were generally about twice as likely as slightly matrixed ones to say that their organizations not only helped them collaborate more effectively with coworkers, do their best work, and serve customers well but also stimulated bottom-up innovation (5)
  15. Supermatrixed employees were also somewhat more likely than those in the other categories to say they had received recognition or praise during the past seven days. (5)
  16. Two in three consumer product professionals rank collaboration among the top three most critical factors for innovation success, outpacing strong leadership and access to financial resources. Even so, 74% of CPG (Consumer Packed Goods) professionals believe their company is not collaborating effectively at all. (6)
  17. 46% of a typical work day is spent interacting with others (compared to 39% doing individual work). (6)
  18. 30% of participants want to collaborate more
, with women slightly more collaborative than men. (7)
  19. 30% feel their organization has become more collaborative in the last 3 years. (7)
  20. 6% felt their organizations had become less collaborative in the last 3 years. (7)
  21. 30% said that they would like more collaboration in their organization.
  22. Over half of employees and managers identified time saved completing tasks as a benefit of collaboration. (7)
  23. 60% of respondents have experienced change in their way of thinking due to collaboration.
  24. Satisfied employees collaborated 28% of the working week. (7)
  25. Dissatisfied employees collaborated 12% of the working week. (7)
  26. 56% of respondents said that they were happier when they collaborated. (7)
  27. 51% of respondents said that either their organization had no collaboration strategy, or that they were unsure if their organization did. (7)

Here are some of the conclusions that could be drawn from the research:

  • Work is becoming more and more collaborative
  • Collaboration is the most important factor for profitability
  • Collaboration is a critical for factor for successful innovation
  • Organizations designed for collaboration lead to more collaboration and better performance
  • We are less willing to collaborate in organizational context than in personal situations
  • Traditional high performers are not good collaborators
  • Women are more likely to collaborate than men, and want to collaborate more than men
  • People who feel satisfied at work collaborate more
  • Collaboration has a positive impact on employee engagement
  • Employees want to collaborate more than they do 
  • Many organizations still lack a strategy for collaboration

Perhaps it’s time to craft a strategy for collaboration - and execute?


1) “Collaborative Overload”, Rob Cross, Reb Rebele & Adam Grant, Harvard Business Review, January 2016

2) “Working better together - A study of collaboration and innovation in the workplace”,  Google & Raconteur, June 2015

3) "Collaboration study shows people lie more when colluding", Bob Yirka, August 2015 

4) “How ‘Organizations’ Can Weaken The Norm of Reciprocity: The Effects of Attributions For Favors And A Calculative Mindset”, Peter Belmi & Jeffrey Pfeffer, Stanford University,  Academy of Management Discoveries, 2015, Vol. 1, No. 1, 93–113

5) “Revisiting the matrix organization”, Michael Bazigos and Jim Harter, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2016  

6) “How Collaboration Drives Innovation Success”, Nielsen, March 2015, 

7) "The Collaborative Economy", Deloitte Access Economics, 2014


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