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16 Examples of Cooperation
John Spacey, April 25, 2021
Cooperation is the process of working together for mutual benefit. The following are illustrative examples.
SharingSharing 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.
CollaborationCollaboration is cooperative work. For example, two students who work on a science fair project together as a team.
MutualismA 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.
StrategyCooperation 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.
SpecializationHumans 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.
FriendshipFriendship involves cooperation whereby friends help each other and are sympathetic to each other's challenges.
ComraderyComradery is the sense of belonging and shared experience that emerges from struggling towards a common purpose as a group.
ReciprocityReciprocity 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.
AltruismAltruism is the act of doing something good that doesn't directly benefit you. For example, volunteering in a food kitchen for those in need.
GroupthinkGroupthink 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.
SocietySociety 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 CooperationModern societies are highly interconnected and cooperative such that the globe is beginning to resemble a single civilization. This process is known as globalization.
CultureCulture 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.
InstitutionsInstitutions 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 TensionCooperation 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 CooperationHumans 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.
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