Difference Between Coordination and Cooperation

The business organizations incorporate the usage of “Coordination” and “Cooperation,” frequently, which are the two common phrases used to describe ‘the way people work together.’

These are the terms often interchanged by people as these definitions are either contradicting or overlapping in nature. Therefore, people tend to misplace the words that deliver a different meaning altogether, leading to confusion and communication gaps.

Coordination vs Cooperation

The difference between coordination and cooperation is that coordination refers to running down a series of activities in an arrayed manner to achieve the unanimity of individual efforts in the pursuance of group goals and accomplishment of common objectives.

Coordination vs Cooperation

The main attributes to draw a line between coordination and cooperation include connection, communication, goals, resources, power, commitment, collaboration, co-exist, and accountability.

On the other hand, cooperation is a discretionary action of individuals to work collectively for a mutual profit. It requires joint efforts of all the members of the organization to achieve a defined target. 

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonCoordinationCooperation
Definition Is an orderly arrangement of combined elements in the management level to attain common goals by maintaining harmony and ensuring the smooth functioning of the assigned sets of work.  Is described as a voluntary effort of individuals who work together or adhere to the standards to accomplish organization goals. 
ProcessContrived; It is a system incorporated deliberately by the managers of the organization. It is a part of the management process. Voluntary; It is an action that arises due to already shared informal relations.
NeedIs required for the achievement of the goals within an organization. Arises out of the sheer desire of one’s informal relations and aching to work together. 
ScopeWider scopeNarrow scope
ActivityPerformed only at the top levels of management within an organization for a long course of a period. Performed at every level within an organization for a short course of a period as it involves voluntary actions. 

What is Coordination?

Coordination is principally the combined effort required and bought about to gain fruition. Coordination is possible for both individuals and amongst a group of people.

In individual, a great example would be human motoric coordination. It is a deliberate combination of body movements along with perfectly synchronized actions to finish a given task. For instance, when you coordinate your leg movements at the same time, to run in a race. 

In addition to group coordination, which is a separate entity for goal achievements and its faster efficiency makes achieve than they would otherwise.

The management employ coordination for performing operations that include human resources, production, purchase, sales, marketing, and finance. It acts as a loop for all the implemented activities by the organization, i.e., planning, controlling, staffing, directing, organizing, and leading. 

Also, it ensures that all the departments of the organization work in sync. It is a reflection of the “unity of action” among the employees and groups.

Through coordination, each employee can achieve objectives efficiently, along with maintaining harmony.

Coordination implies synchronization amongst the various departments and caters to reduce the conflict. Hence, it is crucial to have synchronization between the departments and their work, as lacking coordination results in chaos. 


What is Cooperation?

Cooperation involves a voluntary effort of two or more people who will to work or act together for a shared mission or profit. It is a voluntary action and not forced as it is something they enjoy to do together for benefits. 

For instance, being a part of the sports competition involves participants who voluntarily agree to the rules and regulations of the games and act together to obtain who is the best team. It is a social arrangement consisting of people who work together for mutual benefits. 

Understanding and communication between the two entities are essential as they work together for a long-term period. Communication here requires both the sender and the receiver to be aware and obtain the pieces of information that include who is assigned what work and how they are going to do it. 

Merely as synchronization is attached to coordination, cooperation is inseparable from communication. The benefits of cooperative learning and social groups serve higher self-esteem, confidence, achievement rates, and build positive relationships.

In the workplace, cooperation provides a healthy working atmosphere that enables an employee to work side by side to achieve both individual and organizational objectives.

Corporate cooperation reflects the proverb, ‘united we stand, divided we fall,’ as it provides a win-win situation leading to mutual accomplishment and organizational growth.


Main Differences Between Coordination and Cooperation

  1. Cooperation is when one person hands you a brick, and you lay the brick. While coordination is when the coordinator commands you to pick up the brick. It is a challenge between voluntary versus involuntary action. 
  2. The etymology of “coordination” is derived from Middle French and Late Latin word “coordinationem,” a noun which means the process of coordinating. On the other hand, the etymology of “cooperation” is derived from Late Latin “cooperationem,” i.e., nominative for “cooperatio,” a noun which means “work together towards the same end.” 
  3. Coordination is a planned process in an organization and is monitored thoroughly. On the contrary, cooperation is largely an involuntary process and occurs spontaneously out of mutual respect. 
  4. Communication plays a pivotal role in both these terms. While coordination involves open communication between the members of a group as opposed to cooperation that involves tactic communication. 
Difference Between Coordination and Cooperation
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