Collaboration is working with each other to do a task and to achieve shared goals. It is a process where two or more people work together negotiating convergent goals, (this is more than the intersection of common goals seen in co-operative ventures, but a potentially deep, collective, determination to reach an expansive objective - for example, an endeavor that is creative in nature - by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus. Most collaboration requires leadership, although the form of leadership can be social within a decentralized and egalitarian group. In particular, teams that work collaboratively can obtain greater resources, recognition and reward when facing competition for finite resources.
“…it’s interesting that in Silicon Valley “collaboration” is defined as something you do with another colleague or company to achieve greatness — something to be praised — as in: “They collaborated on that beautiful piece of software.” But in Congress “collaboration” means something very different today. It’s the second definition — collaboration is an act of treason — something you do when you cross over and vote with the other party. In Silicon Valley, great “collaborators” are prized; in Washington, they are hanged. Said Cohen, who was vice president at Nicira, a networking start-up that recently sold for $1.26 billion: “In Washington, when they say ‘collaborator’ they mean ‘traitor’; here they mean ‘colleague.’
Editorial piece by Thomas Friedman, New York Times