Working together has long been, at least within conventional wisdom, a great idea for all involved. At school we’re taught to work in groups – we’re taught that working together is a positive activity to be encouraged and that its villainous opposite, a selfish desire to work alone, is to be discouraged.

Furthermore, throughout our university studies many of us are made to work in groups to complete assignments, leading to the assumption that in our chosen vocation we will be required to work collectively.

However, despite much evidence that team cooperation is an important aspect of production, many organisations do not implement team work enough, and many individuals wrongly feel they are better off without it.

Teamwork is important, but feeling part of a team can have the same effects.Men need encouragement to work in teams.

Gender difference

The assumption that collective goals create better outcomes would seem like a truism to many, yet some research has found this to be untrue. Research by Peter J. Kuhn and Marie-Claire Villeval from the National Bureau of Economic Research titled ‘Are Women More Attracted to Cooperation Than Men?’ shows that men were sometimes adverse to group work, at a much higher rate than women in a well-defined subset of cases.

According to this study, men have a tendency to overestimate their abilities, and underestimate their colleagues’ abilities. A lot of this came down to the findings that women rated their abilities conservatively, and rated their peers abilities generously.

The study puts forward the idea that for both genders to succeed within group work, men need to be encouraged to believe in their fellow colleges abilities irrespective of gender, and women in their own abilities amongst the group.

Alone, together

Research from Stanford university found that when individuals consider themselves to be working within a partnership, and when they have others that treat them as such, they are far more successful in their activity.

nnnnTeamwork is important, but feeling part of a team can have the same effects.

Assistant professor of psychology at Stanford, Gregory Walton, wrote an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychology with Priyanka Carr titled ‘Cues of working together fuel intrinsic motivation’.

He told the Stanford news that even when people worked alone, but perceived themselves to be working in a team, they outperformed those that perceived themselves to be working alone but completing the same amount of isolated work.

“Working with others affords enormous social and personal benefits,” said Mr. Walton.

Man and machine

When it comes to working together, it isn’t just humans that benefit from combined efforts and energies. We now live in an age of increased communication between computers called machine-to-machine communication.

The internet of things (IoT) – when the sensors attached to machines are registered by other machines – is set to influence the way we interact with every electronic device, improving connectivity between networks on a global scale. The challenge lies in being able to leverage this data properly across well-designed infrastructures.

A global collective goal shared by many is to have systems in place to collect and order IoT information so that it is accessible and able to be shared freely, in order to be helpful to many; this is the ultimate in group work.

StrategyBlocks offer an integrated system that works to increase the participation and improve the communication of ideas at all levels across your organisation. For more information on how strategy software can help your company collaborate effectively, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.