Corporation vs. Cooperation

  angbeenc  —  Grammar Tips

English is a distinctive language where many words are so similar that they cause confusion in the readers and writers minds. Cooperation and corporation are an example of such words. Cooperatives and corporations may sound like one and the same thing, but they are very different in the formation, running, and the purposes they serve. A cooperative is a legal entity owned by a group of people who come together voluntarily for their mutual benefit. These people usually join hands to fulfill their common economic, social, or cultural needs, a task that would be hard to accomplish if one was left to handle it alone. A corporation is a legal entity formed by a group of people who contribute capital, but it exists as a separate legal entity having its own privileges and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

This article discusses both terms in detail.


The word corporation originated from late Middle English: from late Latin corporatio(n- ), from Latin corporare ‘combine in one body’ corporate. The word cooperation originated from late Middle English: from Latin cooperatio(n- ), from the verb cooperari (see cooperate); later reinforced by French cooperation.

Corporation as noun:

Corporation is used as a noun in English language where it means a large company or group of companies authorized to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law. It has synonyms like company, firm, business, concern, operation and agency.

The Cardiff Bay Development Corporation is a struggling company.

Corporation is also a group of people elected to govern a city, town, or borough.

The corporation refused two planning applications.


A dated humorous meaning of corporation is a paunch.


Cooperation as noun:

Cooperation is also used as a noun in English language where it means the action or process of working together to the same end. It has synonyms like collaboration, working together, joint action, combined effort, teamwork and mutual support etc.

They worked in close cooperation with the British Tourist Authority.

Cooperation also implies the meaning of assistance, especially by complying readily with requests.

We should like to ask for your cooperation in the survey.


The foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey pledged Friday to cooperate against ethnic Kurdish rebels. [Los Angeles Times]

Cooperation, that fine art of working together toward a common goal, is more appealing to children than to chimpanzees. [New York Times]

Mr. Kumar pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy, cooperated, and is awaiting sentencing. [Wall Street Journal]

In a strategic pact signed on Tuesday, the two countries pledged to co-operate on trade and counter-terrorism. [Guardian]

In a deal that may signal future co-operation between enemies, Israel and the militant Palestinian movement Hamas have agreed to an exchange of prisoners. [Globe and Mail]

Mobile-phone retailers haven’t co-operated in the past, Gartenberg said. [New Zealand Herald]

Corporation or cooperation:

Cooperate is a verb which is the process of working or acting together with someone else in order to achieve a goal. Cooperate as a verb can also be defined as the act of assisting someone or willing to assist. A third definition for cooperate is the process of doing something that someone or a group of people want you to do. Never confuse the two or use them interchangeably, for they are not the same!