The terms ‘Co-ordination’ and ‘Co-operation’ cannot be used interchangeably because they have different meanings. Co-ordination is an orderly arrangement of group efforts to provide unity of action in the pursuit of common objectives. It is a process of deliberately bringing together the efforts of various components of an enterprise in order to give them a unity of purpose.
But co-operation denotes the collective efforts by the persons working in an organisation voluntarily for accomplishing a particular purpose. It is the willingness of the individuals to help each other. So the concept of Coordination is broader in scope than that of co-operation.
Co-ordination is a deliberate effort by the management. It is true that existence of Co-operation among the members of the group facilitates Coordination. But that does not mean that Co-ordination originates automatically from the voluntary efforts of the group members. This can be illustrated by an example.
Five persons engaged in pushing a car out of mud have a strong desire to co-operate with another. But they did not succeed in their attempt. A sixth person arrives on the spot and asks them to change their positions. Now they are successful in their attempt. This is Co-ordination. Thus a manager plays an important role as a Co-ordinator. Effective Co-ordination cannot be achieved without the actual Co-operation of the group members. Co-ordination without Co-operation has no fruit and Co-ordination without Co-operation has no root.
The differences between the two concepts are:
Co-ordination is deliberate effort by a manager. Co-operation is voluntary attitude of organisational members.
It tries to achieve orderly arrangement of group efforts and tries to provide unity of action in the pursuit of organisational objectives. But co-operation is meant for collective efforts of the group to accomplish a particular objective.
Co-ordination is achieved through both formal and informal relations. Co-operation arises out of informal relations.
Co-ordination is essential for group performance to achieve common objective. Co-ordination is voluntary in nature. It is not an essential accompaniment of an organisation.
Co-ordination is essence of management and it permeates all managerial functions. We cannot think of proper management without Coordination. Co-operation is not a function of management. It is an attitude of the employees and then the group. It facilitates Co-ordination.
Co-ordination is wider in scope than Co-operation. Cooperation is an attempt of Co-ordination. Co-ordination includes Co-operation. So Co-ordination is wider in scope than Co-operation.
For successful functioning every organisation requires both Co-ordination and Co-operation. Co-ordination is not possible without Co-ordination and Co-operation with ineffective in the absence of Co-ordination. Herbert Simon has pointed out that “Co-operation will usually be ineffective will not reach its goal whatever be the intention of participants in the absence of Coordination.”