Evan Rosen’s “Creating Collaboration Takes More than Technology”

Discuss how Rosen’s article points to the non-technological requirements that make your group collaboration more effective. 

A non-technological requirement that will make our group collaboration more effective is culture. Evan Rosen makes a good point in his article- technology only gives us the tools for collaboration, it will not happen in a competitive environment with hierarchical positions. We must eliminate all competition because each of us is working towards a common group goal- to create a coherent collaborative project that will highlight how social media can be used as a means for discovery of talent. We must all do our fair share of the work and help edit each others’ articles, because we will be receiving a group grade. Hierarchic projects can be beneficial in some situations, but not ours. We will strive to have internal collaboration rather than internal competition. 

Another aspect that will make our collaboration more effective is to integrate collaboration tools into operational activities. Instead of using these tools just for meeting or updates, we must use them throughout our researching process. Even the in-between steps of our project that won’t be seen by others will be collaborative. This will ensure the deepest level of collaboration and group thinking. We will use Zotero during the researching process so we can see each others’ sources, and Google Docs while we are typing our individual articles. This will also speed up the process and keep us on schedule- instead of taking the time to email a file, wait for a response, and then go back to edit, everybody can work on the project in real time. I believe that Google Docs and Prezi are the best examples of this.

Similarly, it’s also important to be able to “adopt spontaneous work styles”– having immediate access to everybody and their work. This will eliminate formalities like setting up a time to have a group meeting. We can use instant facebook chats, Skype, and texting to stay in touch. As a result, we will be able to have much quicker access to each other, and will not have to wait until the next group meeting or class to voice a concern, question, or new idea.

The last point Rosen makes is that all parties involved in the collaborative project must have access to the same tools. There is no use of using a very expensive hosting site or a database if it is not available to everyone. We must all have equal access so we can do the same level of work. Rosen goes on to explain why this is so important: “The most collaborative organizations give everybody access to the same tools regardless of level, role, or region. This eliminates unnecessary hierarchy, reinforces collaborative culture, and creates greater value.” Our group made sure that we all have access to each tool we’ll be using- GoogleDocs, Zotero, texting, Facebook, Tumblr, and most importantly- an internet connection. 

The requirements necessary for our project to do well are: a non-competitive culture, the integration of collaborative tools, spontaneous work styles, and equal access. We will keep these four points in mind to ensure a successful (and fully collaborative) outcome. The 21st century can offer us an infinite amount of tools, but it is up to the individuals to figure out the most effecting way to utilize them. 

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