Sociology Index

Collaborative Community

Work now involves experts cooperating on projects. Such work requires collaborative community. Financial incentives and bureaucratic authority are not effective without collaborative community. We need a collaborative community based on loyalty. In a collaborative community, people must look beyond their jobs and take larger initiatives.

The Firm as a Collaborative Community: Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy by Charles Heckscher and Paul Adler. This volume explores the changing nature of community in modern corporations. Community within and between firms - the fabric of trust so essential to contemporary business - has long been based on loyalty. This loyalty has been largely destroyed by three decades of economic turbulence, downsizing, and restructuring. Yet community is more important than ever in an increasingly complex, knowledge-intensive economy. The thesis of this volume is that a new form of community is slowly emerging - one that is more flexible and wider in scope than the community of loyalty, and that transcends the limitations of both traditional Gemeinschaft and modern Gesellschaft. We call this form collaborative community. The trend towards collaborative community is difficult to detect amidst the ferocious forces of market and bureaucratic rationalization.

Books on Collaborative Community

Towards Collaborative Community - By Paul S. Adler & Charles Heckscher.
The appeal of communitarianism and the power of fundamentalist and values-based movements are testimony to the continuing widespread concern that alienation has been the dark corollary of market individualism. We argue that in the last few decades, a form of community, what we call collaborative community, has emerged that points the way beyond the classic antinomy of individual and collective, of tradition and freedom, of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft, and begins to embody the intuition behind David Emile Durkheim’s notion of ‘organic solidarity.’ capitalism and its concomitant pressures for competitive advantage and profit simultaneously stimulate progress toward collaborative community and retard and distort this progress.

The Firm as a Collaborative Community: Reconstructing Trust in the Knowledge Economy by Charles Heckscher and Paul Adler. Explores key issues of trust, loyalty, and co-operation in contemporary organizations and firms. Suggests practical lessons for corporate culture change in turbulent competitive environments. Includes rich empirical evidence cases and analyses of corporate efforts in building cultures for a dynamic knowledge economy. 

Collaborative Communities: Partnering for Profit in the Networked Economy by Jeffrey C. Shuman, Janice Twombly, and David Rottenberg. - The authors argue that all companies, especially small ones, must form collaborative communities with other firms to satisfy customer needs and thereby thrive.

Collaborative Entrepreneurship: How Communities of Networked Firms Use Continuous Innovation to Create Economic Wealth by Raymond Miles, Grant Miles, and Charles Snow. - Collaborative Entrepreneurship discusses a revolutionary new competitive strategy of continuous innovation that fulfills the need for efficient provision of a constant stream of new products, services, and markets. The book explains how firms can build a collaborative community within which they can freely share in the creation of wealth through innovation with the assurance that the wealth they create will be equitably distributed.