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Definition of Cooperation: Understanding the Meaning, Benefits, and Forms of Cooperation

In essence, cooperation refers to the collaborative efforts undertaken by individuals or entities working together towards a common goal.

Definition of Cooperation
Definition of Cooperation

In the context of business, cooperation holds significant importance, and this article aims to provide a concise and comprehensive overview of various aspects related to cooperation, including:

  • General Definition and Expert Perspectives on Cooperation
  • Cooperation in the Business Field
  • Forms of Cooperation in Business

Cooperation holds immense value for humanity as social beings. Thus, it is crucial to read this article in its entirety to gain a comprehensive understanding of the meaning and significance of collaboration.

Definition of Cooperation

Cooperation is generally defined as a collective effort by multiple individuals or groups working together to achieve a specific objective. Cooperation plays a vital role in human existence as social beings who rely on mutual support.

Cooperation occurs when individuals share common interests and possess the awareness to collaborate in order to achieve shared goals and interests.

In contrast, competition stands in opposition to cooperation. However, the desire or need to compete with others often serves as the driving force behind individuals coming together, organizing, and collaborating to enhance their competitiveness.

Definition of Cooperation According to Experts

In the field of sociology, cooperation is understood as a form of social interaction characterized by associations formed when groups of people share similar views in pursuit of common objectives. The following are definitions of cooperation provided by experts:

1. J. Pamudji Suptandar

According to Pamudji, cooperation refers to the collaborative work of two or more individuals, involving interactions among them until dynamic goals are achieved. He asserts that cooperation consists of three key elements: the presence of individuals, interaction between them, and the existence of shared goals.

2. Charles H. Cooley

Sociologist Charles H. Cooley argues that cooperation arises when individuals recognize their shared interests and possess sufficient self-awareness and knowledge to fulfill those interests.

3. Rosen, E.D

Rosen defines cooperation as a highly efficient resource for delivering quality services, particularly in the economic context of buying and selling.

4. Ann Marie Thomson and James L. Perry

According to Thomson and Perry, cooperation encompasses various levels, starting from coordination and progressing to collaboration in collective activities.

5. Hessel Nogi S. Tangkilisan

Tangkilisan describes cooperation as a source of strength within an organization, influencing decision-making and organizational actions.

Understanding Collaboration in Business

Collaboration in business refers to a voluntary partnership arrangement between two or more business entities, aiming to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. According to BusinessDictionary, cooperation involves working together to address common challenges and improve overall performance.

Cooperation in business offers various advantages, such as alleviating certain problems. Moreover, it extends beyond mere fundraising. Some entrepreneurs prefer to establish profitable relationships with their competitors. Rather than engaging in cutthroat competition that leads to stress, they choose to complement each other's strengths and weaknesses, especially during emergencies. For instance, a fish supplier who runs out of stock can seek fish from other suppliers.

Forms of Collaboration

Within the business realm, each participant involved in a collaboration contributes in different ways, including ideas, funds, assets, or a combination thereof. Here are several forms of collaboration commonly observed in business:

1. Profit Sharing

This represents the simplest form of business collaboration, often practiced by small businesses. For example, inviting friends, relatives, or acquaintances to become investors allows for a joint arrangement of profit distribution based on mutually agreed terms.

2. Creating Business Opportunities

This system, commonly known as a Business Opportunity, offers benefits to individuals or entities involved in its operation. For instance, a writer who publishes a book may seek cooperation from someone to assist with the sales process. In this scenario, the profits would be shared between the book author and the marketer. This approach bears similarities to the franchise system.

3. Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT)

This type of collaboration is frequently employed in the property business. The BOT system relies on the ability to persuade landowners to engage in cooperation. Typically, the land is operated upon to establish a business within a specified timeframe. Subsequently, the land is returned to the owner, and benefits are provided according to the agreed-upon terms.

4. Joint Venture

Joint Venture involves a collaborative effort among multiple parties. This system offers the advantage of risk-sharing. Additionally, joint ventures often involve foreign investors and are regulated by the government. Such collaborations provide various benefits, including obtaining capital from foreign sources, acquiring valuable management experience, accessing foreign markets, and leveraging local connections for foreign entities to enter domestic markets.

5. Merger

A merger refers to the combination of two or more companies to form a new entity. It can also involve the acquisition of a company to facilitate its development. In this case, one company remains intact while the others merge into it. Mergers enable competitors to join forces, creating a stronger entity that can better navigate market competition. Increased capital and expanded production lines are key objectives of the merger process.

Understanding and engaging in various forms of collaboration is crucial for businesses to foster growth, expand market reach, and maximize opportunities for success.

6. Consolidation

The distinction between a merger and a consolidation lies in the fact that one company remains intact while the other is merged. On the other hand, a consolidation combines two or more companies and gives rise to a new entity with a new name. As a result of the merger, the individual legal statuses of the companies involved are relinquished.

The advantages of consolidation are manifold. It allows for the rescue of a nearly bankrupt production and reduces competition. Additionally, the distribution channel becomes more secure and the company expands in size.

7. Franchise or Franchising

Franchising involves the utilization of intellectual property belonging to a business sector/brand, which has been mutually approved by the parties involved.

This system can be considered the ultimate distribution channel towards consumers, wherein the franchisor grants business owners the right to utilize their distinctive names, brands, and operating procedures.

Businesses such as taverns, snacks, and other culinary ventures are the most common users of this system. Interestingly, foreign franchises are in higher demand due to their larger presence.

Nevertheless, it should be noted that local franchises are equally commendable, as many of them are experiencing rapid growth.


Based on the aforementioned explanations, it can be concluded that cooperation is an act or process of collaborating with a sense of unity and harmony to achieve a shared objective. Cooperation stands in contrast to working independently in a competitive manner. Humans naturally gravitate towards forming groups and collaborating in order to enhance individual competitiveness.

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Now, armed with an understanding of the meaning, benefits, and types of cooperation, it becomes easier to determine the most suitable form of collaboration for your business. We hope that this article proves useful and broadens our collective knowledge.