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Organizing for Collaboration

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Organization Collaborations

Sumitra Mitra who is a renowned research scientist in the division of products related to the dental of 3M has helped a lot in the development of coatings that provide protection against tooth plaque also bonding materials which has the setting along light. Although with the growing popularity if cosmetic dentistry, Sumitra Mitra was able to develop products that is exactly what the dentists have always thought of developing both in terms of natural appearance and strength. Once they found r developed this particular product it meant a huge opportunity for them which let them venture right outside the reign of traditional materials which are dental. The first step which Sumitra took was to refer to the database consisting of reports related to technicalities of the 3M which took about 7000 scientists to be written.

This database has been of invaluable help and support for the purpose of spreading knowledge and information within the company, you will find that exact work for collaborating takes place mainly at events which are funded by Tech Forum which is an organization run by the employees and is designed for the purpose of fostering communication between scientists located at different divisions and labs. It is in these forums that Mitra found really valuable information from all the different doctors of the different divisions. The R&D Worcenter has been described aa the LinkedIn accounts for the 3M scientists by Miss. Mitra as it has proven to be quite the helpful tool when it comes to collaboration. Thus she found help from both the R&D Work Centre and the Tech Forum where her research was concerned. Exactly after 3 years after the research done by Sumitra, the Filtek Plus was developed by 3M which is polished and strong material of dental and primarily to consist of nano particles.

The employees who work at 3M are evaluated on the basis of the success they get and hence there is expectation from them to collaborate a lot. If such collaborations are done in the correct manner amidst the scientists of the company, it is expected that the company will reach the breakthrough they have been waiting for in terms of their product.

It can be easily understood how much of a change has taken place in the world of work. Although it is highly important that the work is done in an effective and 3efficient manner, it is also important that the organization does all the work with flexibility. If you throw along the matter of the ability and innovation required for that innovation, they are highly critical and hence you will be able to have an appreciation as to how the matter of decision making using top down approach takes place which depends a lot and following the chain which has the command as well as the functional arrangement is not exactly the best way of structural mechanism for doing this job. the collaboration amidst the employees are greatly encouraged by many of the companies such as 3M. The given exhibit will give you some ideas and advantages as well as disadvantages of doing work with collaboration. The idea of collaboration can be broadly divided into two types. It can either be external or to can be internal. External collaboration takes place with the stakeholders or it can be an internal collaboration which refers to the collaboration among the employees of the organization itself. Either ways, it is extremely important to see how well the collaboration is a fit with respect to the structure of the organization and all the various challenges they face while trying fitting in pieces together and make them work in a successful manner. Each of the different collaboration will now be looked into in great details.

Organization Collaborations 5Internal collaboration

The managers of the organization are the ones who decide whether the employees need to collaborate amongst themselves for more integrated and coordinated form of working. For the purpose, there are various structural opinions which are seen. Some other forms or structures which have gained more popularity are task forces, teams of cross-funtion and practise of communities.

Teams being cross-function

You will find several organizations are incorporating the tasks making use of teams of employees as they have found that this particular structure has turned out to be quite helpful and as the teams are working in a flexible environment and are also quite responsive when it comes to changes that are permanent groups of work or departments that are quite traditional. Here the teams of employees have the power to deploy, refocus, assemble and disband. The term cross-function has already been introduced in the previous chapter 10 while there were discussion regarding the various types of departmentalisation which are present. You must always remember that the team created is a work one comprising of individuals who belong to the various forms of functional specialities.

During the formation of a team being cross-function, you will find that several members of the team are taken together and they collaborate for the purpose of solving problems which are, mutual and which are said to affect the functional areas of the corresponding members present in the team. Thus you can say that in an ideal situation the very physical and invisible line which separated these functional areas has vanished and they all work together like a single team for the purpose of achieving a common goal for the organization as a whole. Take th4 example of ArcelorMittal which the company which is the biggest in the world.

You will find that this company comprise of scientists, salespeople and plant manager in the form of a team.  They are all responsible for the purpose of reviewing and monitoring the innovations with respect to the products. The very concept of teams being cross-function also finds its way in the department of health care. Take the instance of the suburban hospital located at Bethesda in Maryland where you will find that the care unit which is intensive department comprises of a team. The team has a chief ICU nurse, a nutritionist, a worker, a pharmacist a therapist as well as a chaplain who meet every day along with the corresponding bedside nurse of each of the patients and sit for discussing and debating about the treatment best suitable for the patient. It has been found that this particular composition of teams has been effective in the reduction of errors as well as cutting short the amounting to time a patient has to spend in the ICU. This has resulted in a healthy communication between the staff which are medical of the hospital and the family of the patient. The concept of teams will be better discussed in 13th chapter.

Task force

Next comes in another structural organization which is the task force and is also known as committee. This is temporary organization or a team which is formed for the purpose of tackling a problem which is short-term specific and is greatly affecting the departments of the organization. The exact difference between the cross-functional related team and the task force is that the task force is for a short time and is not permanent. The members who are part of the task force also continue with their daily duties and responsibilities while also performing task on the force. But it is extremely necessary that the members who are a part of the task force also collaborate and discuss amongst themselves for the purpose of resolving the issue which was given to them. Once the problem has been worked out, task force is not more present as it is dissolved and all the respective, members can return back to their own respective assignments. This concept of task force is largely used by many governments based organizations as well as universities and businesses. For example, in the accounting firm, based in San Francisco, the task force was performed for the purpose of carrying out formal recruiting process as well as for training them and mentoring them. Another company FritoLay which is a subsidiary of the company PepsiCo, Inc., you will find a force has come into pay inclusive of the members form the Hispanic employees of the company to help developing project of two completely new products: Doritos Guacamole tortilla chips as well as Lay’s potato chips.

Communities of practise

In the early 2008, the America soldiers were having some problems or difficulties while using rocket-propelled launcher for grenades and they were responsible for training the Afghan and the Iraqi armies. One of the unit commander who was frustrated about the situation has posted his question on online forums of the US army. This was the forum where asked by soldiers various questions, clear their doubts and share their respective knowledge with their peers from all over world.

After waiting for some days, the unit commander received simple solutions for his problem on the online forum. The answer was given by one of the members of the forum who had gone through some similar problems and thus knew the mechanism of preventing the grenade from backfiring and the safety measures need to be adopted. Thus the problem of the unit commander was solved just like that. This type of organisational structure which falls under internal collaboration is also referred to as communities of practise. The community’s pf practise refers to a group of people having similar interest and share a common concern, also people with similar types of problems as well as passion when of the common topics for who also wish to grow their knowledge by engaging in discussions with people of the same community on a regular basis. Take the example of the repair technician working in Xerox in share share who have groups where they communicate on a regular basis discussing their problems and also share their respective solutions thus solving each other’s problems with respect to repairing machines.

At the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, this very organizational structure forms a part of the foundation structure of the company. These communities are composed of employee networks and councils of employee and they interact in the platform with each other solving each other’s problems and also helping in the process of developing products by collaborating with the product development members of the company by guiding them regarding safety precautions which needs to be taken while working. The more structured form of the company Pfizer where it recognizes the valuation of the company is becoming more and more common.

Now the question is how effective is this particular structure? It has been found by recent researches that the particular communities of structure can bring about a growing effectiveness in the job performance of the employee by creating value and contributing and also having access to knowledge, ideas and practises which are shared among the members of the community. It has been further taken in the given exhibit below where suggestions to make the communities work are listed.

External Collaboration

Similar to Venue why was introduced in the very opening of the chapter, Inuit has also found ways involving his customers. The users of the QuickBooks have the access to the site where the members have conversation with each other as well as exchange information that can be helpful to one another. This site is the QuickBooks Live Community.

Organization Collaborations 6This particular forum has given good and fast answers to all the questions put forward by the customers. As far as the company is concerned, this particular voluntary help solves a lot of investment which would would have otherwise gone behind hiring professional technicians who had to be paid. Thus the very efforts of external collaboration have gained some popularity for the organization which has incorporated it. In this chapter, the two forms which collaborate externally will be looked into: strategic partnerships and open innovation. Both these are said to provide useful information and help to the company and has given it enough supporting and contributions for achieving the goal of the organization and to get the respective work done. It is also important for the managers to understand the challenge faced in fitting each of them in the structural design of the organization.

Open innovation

One of the biggest and most leading pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline PLC had open to the clients the various design which was required for the 13,5000 compounds of chemical which were related to the parasite said to cause rhea deadly malaria. Glaxo was of the belief that sharing this information will help in the process of getting the leading scientist to work together and came up with medicine which will help to treat this diseases borne from mosquito, malaria at a rate which will faster than if the company had not opened up to the public.

It is quite numbered as to the days taken for these companies to develop their very own ideas and also generate the product on their own while also marketing, developing and delivering these producers to their customers. Thus many of the companies are going for the open innovation technique which has opened up several new ideas which are new and innovative much beyond the boundaries of the organisation and thus allowing this bundle of creativity to transfer between outward and inward. For example: companies such as Starbucks, Procter and Gamble, Best Buy,  Nike and Dell has also played foundation of these digital platforms which let their clients help the in the process of creating these new products as well as messages. Thus as it is quite clear to you, most of the companies who have gained quite some popularity have been found to be directly collaborating with their customers for the purpose of developing these products. Other companies on the other hand are collaborating with the competitors, suppliers as well as other outsiders. The given example 11-5 will lay down some pros related to open innovation.

Strategic Partnerships

All the companies throughout the world are trying to connect with each other. Qualcomm and nokia who were quite the rivals at one point of time have established an agreement of coopeartion for the development of cell-phones of the next generation all over North America. There has also been a collaboration between Yahoo and Nokia in partnership where the Yahoo software will be powering most of the chat service and the e-mail in most of the Nokia phones.

Organization Collaborations 7In the current environment, all the various organizations are always ready to grab opportunities whenever they find them. One such way to grab advantages in the best way is through strategic partnership. This is basically the establishment of cooperative relationship between more organizations which involves the combination of their respective capabilities and resources for the purpose of some business. Some of the reasons which makes such partnerships quite the success includes flexibility and increased efficiency. also the access to the companies and new technology and market are also greatly improved. Also there is less tedious paperwork while creating as well as disbanding the projects and the work gets ready in a lesser time since there is a distribution of the job and each of the collaborating organizations only need to do their part and finally integrate them in the end. The very expense and risk related to the project is also distributed between the collaborating companies and thus there is less stress on one particular organizations. The independent identification of the brand can be exploited, work takes place between partners who possess multiple skills and talents and can majorly synergies. There are several instances where rival companies come together to work and they do their work quite harmoniously without any problems. The partnership can range from being simple to complex and also several members can be included in the partnership arrangement and there is the antitrust law to protect the R&D activities. Thus the concept of strategic partnerships is growing quite in popularity. Thru challenge of the manager now lies in exploiting the pros offered by such collaborations so that they can be incorporated in the organization quite seamlessly for all the collaborative arrangements.


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