Disadvantages of Collaborative Writing

Collaborative writing may seem to be an easy process as the efforts are shared between two or more than two people. But, it is not as easy as it seems to be because of the following reasons:

  • In parallel collaboration, the project gets delayed even if the work of one writer gets delayed.
  • In sequential collaboration, the tasks are depended on the previous writers. If a writer does not complete the work on time, the subsequent writers will have to start their work later than schedule and hence will have a tough time. The problem becomes intensified if Writer 1 or Writer 2 delay their share of activities and take more time than planned or required, because they are the initial writers and the others will have lesser time to complete their tasks.
  • Even if one writer does not follow the styles and guidelines and produces document that is not of accepted quality, the entire project will suffer.
  • Identifying and acknowledging the contributors of the project is a complex process.

Example: A project may earn good comments because of the suggestion(s) provided by one of the writers or because of the extensive edits and organizational changes done by the editor. But, it is the writer who may walk away with the laurels. Since the team member(s) who has given some valuable suggestions and/or inputs, or the editor who worked very hard editing, probably reorganizing and rewriting the document are not in the direct picture, they are not recognized for their efforts.

In collaborative type of work setup, it is very important to give appropriate acknowledgment to all the individual the contributors who helped in making the project a success. Managers should also appreciate the individuals who complete their work on or before the schedule without any quality issues. This requires effective and healthy communication not only between the team members, but with the project/project managers as well.


One Response

  1. Thanks for posting on this topic — it’s one I am greatly interested in. I’m actually attempting to create a collaborative piece of writing on my blog currently — it’s an article about academic collaboration and copyright/authorship issues. I’d love your input there if you had the time/opportunity

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