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Prerequisites for successful cooperation
The ability to cooperate is one of the most important competencies of a modern person. Cooperation is an agreement based on conditions suitable for both entities, a social action that requires the contribution of several people to achieve a common goal or result. Cooperation is implemented by various means: it is working together in one company, joint work with other companies, sharing resources, knowledge or simply working as a team.
Cooperation is not always easy. Before starting cooperation, it is important to get to know the organizational culture and norms, decision-making attitudes of your potential partners. The compatibility and identification of organizational cultures is necessary to avoid differences and problems that may arise due to the different attitudes of communities and people, management style of managers, and goals of organizations. And this affects the lack of legitimacy and even the emergence of conflicts among the collaborators.
Cooperation is inseparable from the ability to understand the needs and interests of one’s partners and the ability to articulate one’s own needs and interests. Cooperation means the ability to make commitments to one’s partners and the duty to fulfil them.
Thus, cooperation is a short-term or long-term agreement based on conditions suitable for both entities. During the process, organizations share their knowledge, resources, and expertise in order to achieve tasks and goals.
The success of cooperation can depend on various factors: institutional environment, personnel characteristics and competences, managerial and organizational aspects, knowledge management, balanced realization of the aspirations of interested groups, connection of cooperating entities, identification and harmonization of organizational cultures, processes taking place in organizations, but the most important factor – common goals pursuit and open communication.
The benefits of cooperation
Cooperation is successful when it is carried out by several entities to meet the needs of each. Effective cooperation is based on conditions, rules, regulations and values acceptable to both parties, with the help of which the common goals of the organizations are successfully achieved, corresponding to the development vision, tasks and goals of each cooperating organization. Well-developed cooperative relations ensure a high-quality and most appropriate solution.
Four main areas of cooperation benefit are worth mentioning. The first area of benefit is the development of competences – for the benefit of which the abilities and resources of organizations are used. The second – the reduction of the economic burden provides organizations with the assurance of resources and survival in the market. Another area of benefit is the improvement of production processes, which provides opportunities to develop new products by applying new and innovative processes. Joint activities create opportunities to establish themselves and carry out changes in the organization. Collaborating organizations reduce costs, have the opportunity to obtain the necessary resources, develop skills and acquire new competences, achieve economies of scale, learn, and access the necessary information. It is also distinguished that through cooperation, organizations can implement their goals, tasks, solutions and projects, and apply new technologies to improve various processes.
Cooperation turning into partnership
What is a business partnership? Partnership is one of the higher levels of cooperation, relations between several physical or legal entities are characterized by cooperation. Partnership is characterized by mutual trust, the pursuit of competitive advantage, involvement in the pursuit of a common goal, sharing of profits and losses, and assessment of possible risks. Partnership is understood as a program for managing working relationships based on joint problem solving among various partners that creates mutually beneficial results.
Forming a partnership has one main purpose, i.e. constant and uninterrupted alignment of the interests of both parties in order to achieve the best result of cooperation. The main factors that determine the creation, management and achievement of joint results of partnership relations are a long-term perspective, which must include such processes as joint resolution of conflicts and problems, introduction and development of new technologies, open and trust-based continuous communication, reliability of information and its goals transfer, use of common resources ensuring wider operational opportunities, inclusion of personnel activities in the process of making and executing important decisions.
In order to achieve mutual success in partnership, it is necessary to actively maintain balance, harmony, and understanding between partners, which lead to the achievement of maximum operational goals. Communication partners should evaluate the benefits of the partnership from two positions: what I get from the partnership for my own interests and what I have done to take care of the partner’s interests.