Optimizing Workplace Cooperation: Strategies, Challenges, and the Power of Teamwork - A Free Essay Example

Published: 2024-01-08
Optimizing Workplace Cooperation: Strategies, Challenges, and the Power of Teamwork - A Free Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Goal Management Job Behavior
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1490 words
13 min read


Cooperation in the workplace is an imperative aspect insofar as progress and cohesion are concerned. A cooperative workplace is certainly more effective than otherwise because all organization members are focused on one thing. Although cooperation is deemed an important aspect, it is worth noting that it does not come to any organization naturally. It needs to be induced by management. In that regard, there are various approaches applied by multiple organizations as a means of injecting cooperation (Tenbrunsel & David, 1999). The idea behind introducing cooperation in an organization is to make its members accountable and influence their decision-making totally with that of the workplace. Approaches such as the application of surveillance and sanctioning have been used in that regard. Even though they might be effective based on their strengths of implementation, they are imbued with challenges as individuals need to make normalized decisions according to how they impact their personal life and that of the organization. In that regard, organizations may utilize alternative strategies for optimum cooperation in the workplace.

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Weak Sanctions

The effectiveness of sanctions emanates from the premise that they need to be strong and positively impact individuals' judgments in the organization. They lack imperative components that create a strongly productive workplace. For any organization to achieve its desired sense of cooperation or thereabouts, it needs to create a workplace based on employee relationships and an effective feedback system. An organization's success is based on whether the sanctioning system is weak or strong regarding the sanctions approach. A weak sanction is one which makes an individual make financial conciliations within small margins (Tenbrunsel & David, 1999). In essence, a weak sanction fails to produce the desired results because an individual perceives defection as a better option than sanction punishment. Individuals are contrived to make a decision based on cost repercussions versus the benefits of cooperating. In most cases, weak sanctions are implemented by organizations because most employees regard them as negative behavior control structures. Therefore, an organization may decide to impose a weak sanction system as it does not wish to scare its employees. Creating a weak sanction system fails to achieve its desired results because employees are likely not to fear its repercussions.

Strong Sanctions

Conversely, a strong sanction system is deemed to direct positive behavior, particularly because of its massive financial repercussions. Strong sanctions work based on the fact that they create fear among workers. Strong sanctions direct positive behavior in the workplace because workers perceive their level of punishment as high compared to the advantages of breaking the rules. Whether sanctions are weak or strong, they lack in the sense that they lack the connection between an individual and their colleagues in the organization. Thus, what one employee may perceive as less imposing may be perceived as imposing by another person within the same workplace (Tenbrunsel & David, 1999). Based on the premise that expectations drive behavior, it is difficult for an organization to attain desired results regarding cooperation if the punishment in place does not have much impact. Even though strong sanctions are deemed effective in directing behavior through punishment, they are certainly not the best approaches because they rely on externalities. They act as external forces upon which employees are contrived to direct their behavior in the desired loci conceptualized by an organization. Monitoring and sanction systems are counterproductive as they are more engaging and are also feted with replaceable challenges.

The Monitoring Strategy

Other companies apply to monitor systems that check what their employees are doing during working hours. Such systems utilize monitoring cameras and reading of employees' emails with the intention of checking what they are engaging in while at work. In most cases, both the monitoring systems and sanctioning ones operate together. An organization may apply the two approaches hand in hand so that they act as checks and balances when detailing what employees are engaging in during the workplace (Brown, 2019). While they may work to force an employee to behave in a certain way, they are not the best strategies. As may be seen from these approaches, they direct one's behavior but not from within. The workplace is also disjointed stemming from the fact that decisions are individualized. Employees make the decision whether to cooperate or defect not based on the common good of the organization but because of the pernicious attributions imbued with these strategies.

Team Work

Monitoring and sanctioning approaches may introduce employee retention issues and are likely unproductive if employees are presented with a way of evading these systems. In that regard, for an organization to be effective insofar as keeping their employees on their toes is concerned, they need to employ a system that makes the workers cultivate a desire to work hard for the company innately. They need not feel contrived to work in a certain way because some may seek greener pastures if one presents itself. Based on the fact that the systems mentioned above lack a link between employees, they do not encourage unity. In that regard, an approach such as teamwork application could be used as it is a strategy imbued with cohesiveness. Forming working groups within the workplace could be the best strategy for employees to work in one direction, toward a common goal (Brown, 2019). Even though teamwork requires patience in the sense that members have to bond for them to be effective, they are productive in the long run. Investing in workplace teams is worth it. Organizations that invest in group work rather than individualized strategies are superior because the management does not have to micromanage their employees. All that an organization requires in order to make teamwork a force in its space is to provide the teams with the necessary resources and maintain a frequent training program.

Performance Appraisal

Instead of directing behavior through compulsion, as is the case with monitoring and sanction strategies, an organization could benefit significantly by utilizing a performance appraisal system. Employees work best when they look forward to a rewarding phase ahead of them. Individually, performance appraisal could help an organization achieve its goals without following its employees daily. A performance appraisal system provides bait to employees as it promises them goodies after attaining certain targets (Levinson, n.d). It also brings cooperation in the organization because employees are innately focused on individual goals, aligned with the company's global objective. Individual performance appraisal has been applied in various workplaces, and their results are deemed effective. Even though they are productive and create cooperation in the organization, individual performance appraisal thrives best in a competitive environment. In such an environment, employees are barely concerned about the behaviors of their workmates. Similar to the monitoring and sanctioning strategies, individual performance appraisal does not provide space for behavior normalization (Einstein & Scott, n.d). Organizations can, however, gain considerable advantages through applying performance appraisal to groups in the workplace. Unlike individual performance appraisal where the organization is required to conduct questionnaires for all its employees exclusively, teamwork performance appraisal is deemed less expensive as the group is assessed as a unit.


Behavior control is an imperative aspect for any organization to progress in the right direction. While both the management and employees within an organization may agree that directed behavior is advantageous, it does not occur without induction by the management. Employees may not input their best even if they are aware, of what is required of them. In that regard, various organizations employ different systems to control the behavior of their employees. Monitoring and sanction strategies are common in the corporate world as approaches aimed at directive positive behavior. They are mostly applied together because they complement each other. The monitoring system entails keeping track of employees' actions through technologies such as monitoring cameras. The management may also read through employee's emails to check on their activities while at work. The sanction strategy is mainly used to motivate employees to behave positively due to their accompanying repercussions. Sanctions are meant to make individuals in the workplace cooperate because the acting, on the contrary, may have significant financial implications. The sanction strategy can either be weak or strong. Weak strategies are ineffective, while strong sanctions are effective. The latter imposes massive financial punishment on defectors. Thus, the behavior is directed towards cooperating. While the strategies mentioned above could work insofar as forcing employees to cooperate is concerned, they are not the best. Working in groups instead of individuals could be more productive in the sense that teamwork comes with cohesiveness and easy attainment of organizational goals.


Brown, L. (2019, October 21). How to improve cooperation in the workplace. TeamBonding. https://www.teambonding.com/improve-cooperation-amongst-co-workers/

Einstein, W. & Scott, S.G. (n.d). Performance appraisal: A critical dilemma in team-based organizations. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Levinson, H. (n.d). Appraisal of what performance? Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/1976/07/appraisal-of-what-performance

Tenbrunsel, A.E & David, M.M. (1999, December). Sanctioning systems, decision frames, and cooperation. Administrative Science Quarterly.

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Optimizing Workplace Cooperation: Strategies, Challenges, and the Power of Teamwork - A Free Essay Example. (2024, Jan 08). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/optimizing-workplace-cooperation-strategies-challenges-and-the-power-of-teamwork-a-free-essay-example

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