A key function of top management is to elicit contribution in pursuit of organizational purpose from all employees. This contribution manifests itself not only in the labour that is forthcoming to carry out activities and work, but also in the contribution to improve work – to make things better, as it were. Improvement contribution can take many forms: bringing forward ideas for improvement; implementing such ideas; engaging in learning activities to develop skills and competencies, etc.
However, for contribution to be effective it must be cooperative and coordinated. People do not work in companies isolated and alone – they work with others. Efforts to carry out work and improve must be done jointly, in conjunction with other employees. Cooperation is about how the efforts of a firm’s human resources can be marshaled and unified, so that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
If cooperation is important, so is coordination. Coordination is about ensuring that cooperative efforts are aligned with organizational goals and objectives. Effort expended that does not move an organization closer to achieving its goals and objectives is wasted effort.
Cooperation and coordination are about ensuring organizational efficiency – increasing the output from a fixed set of inputs. Contributive effort, no matter how strong, that is uncooperative and uncoordinated is inefficient contribution.