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16 Examples of Cooperation

Cooperation is the process of working together for mutual benefit. The following are illustrative examples.


Sharing such as a company that releases intellectual property such as software or a patent to the public domain. This may benefit the company in numerous ways. For example, it may encourage an industry to adopt standards that align to the company's products.


Collaboration is cooperative work. For example, two students who work on a science fair project together as a team.


A term from biology that denotes a symbiotic relationship between species whereby both species benefit. For example, red-billed oxpeckers perch on large mammals such as cattle and impalas and eat ticks from their coat.


Cooperation often has strategic advantages for all contributors. For example, a wolf pack that can hunt large animals such as bison that an individual wolf would have no chance against.


Humans cooperate in complex ways by assigning highly specialized roles. For examples, medical roles such as anesthesiologist or neurosurgeon that allow an extreme amount of knowledge to be applied to the treatment of a patient.


Friendship involves cooperation whereby friends help each other and are sympathetic to each other's challenges.


Comradery is the sense of belonging and shared experience that emerges from struggling towards a common purpose as a group.


Reciprocity is a social norm whereby people feel they should repay the kindnesses they have received. This often resembles cooperation. For example, a neighbor who watches your dog when you're on vacation such that you look for a way to pay them back in future.


Altruism is the act of doing something good that doesn't directly benefit you. For example, volunteering in a food kitchen for those in need.


Groupthink is the process of cooperating to make sure that nobody thinks or says anything that doesn't conform to an ideology. This is example of a negative type of cooperation.


Society is complex cooperation between people who live in a place. This is a means for humans to cooperate as extremely large groups of millions of individuals with highly specialized roles.

International Cooperation

Modern societies are highly interconnected and cooperative such that the globe is beginning to resemble a single civilization. This process is known as globalization.


Culture is the meaning and expectations that emerges with the shared experience of groups. This often resembles cooperation. For example, norms of social behavior that emerge in a culture that allow people to communicate and interact without hurting each other's feelings.


Institutions are durable and resilient groups such as families and governments that cooperate over extended periods of time to provide society with stability and consistency.

Creative Tension

Cooperation can involve argument and debate that remains civil. This can be described as creative tension whereby people working together towards a common purpose may still have lively disagreements. Cooperation shouldn't be confused with group harmony whereby people are afraid to challenge each other.

Machine Cooperation

Humans essentially cooperate with machines and vice versa. Likewise, machines can cooperate with each other. For example, an IT service that calls dozens of APIs that are each running on thousands of machines at numerous data centers. In this case, the IT service is essentially the result of the cooperation of many machines with the number of machines involved scaled up and down on the fly. This type of large scale cooperation between machines is known as the cloud.

Social Behavior

This is the complete list of articles we have written about social behavior.
Abilene Paradox
Devils Advocate
Eye Contact
Frame Of Mind
Negative Attitudes
Positive Attitudes
Safety In Numbers
Saving Face
Social Attitudes
Social Behavior
Social Bias
Social Goals
Social Interaction
Social Life
Social Loafing
Social Norms
Social Pressure
Social Status
Social Tension
Social Thinking
Social Trust
Status Seeking
Tit For Tat
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