Peer vs. Colleague

By Jaxson

  • Colleague

    Collegiality is the relationship between colleagues.

    Colleagues are those explicitly united in a common purpose and respecting each other’s abilities to work toward that purpose. A colleague is an associate in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office.

    Thus, the word collegiality can connote respect for another’s commitment to the common purpose and ability to work toward it. In a narrower sense, members of the faculty of a university or college are each other’s colleagues; very often the word is taken to mean that. Sometimes colleague is taken to mean a fellow member of the same profession. The word college is sometimes used in a broad sense to mean a group of colleagues united in a common purpose, and used in proper names, such as Electoral College, College of Cardinals, and College of Pontiffs.

    Sociologists of organizations use the word collegiality in a technical sense, to create a contrast with the concept of bureaucracy. Classical authors such as Max Weber consider collegiality as an organizational device used by autocrats to prevent experts and professionals from challenging monocratic and sometimes arbitrary powers. More recently, authors such as Eliot Freidson (USA), Malcolm Waters (Australia) and Emmanuel Lazega (France) have shown that collegiality can now be understood as a full-fledged organizational form. This is especially useful to account for coordination in knowledge intensive organizations in which interdependent members jointly perform non routine tasks – an increasingly frequent form of coordination in knowledge economies. A specific social discipline comes attached to this organizational form, a discipline described in terms of niche seeking, status competition, lateral control, and power among peers in corporate law partnerships, in dioceses, in scientific laboratories, etc. This view of collegiality is obviously very different from the ideology of collegiality stressing mainly trust and sharing in the collegium.

  • Peer (verb)

    To look with difficulty, or as if searching for something.

  • Peer (verb)

    To come in sight; to appear.

  • Peer (verb)

    To make equal in rank.

  • Peer (verb)

    To carry communications traffic terminating on one’s own network on an equivalency basis to and from another network, usually without charge or payment. Contrast with transit where one pays another network provider to carry one’s traffic.

  • Peer (noun)

    A look; a glance.

  • Peer (noun)

    Somebody who is, or something that is, at a level equal (to that of something else).

  • Peer (noun)

    Someone who is approximately the same age (as someone else).

  • Peer (noun)

    A noble with a hereditary title, i.e., a peerage, and in times past, with certain rights and privileges not enjoyed by commoners.

    “a peer of the realm”

  • Peer (noun)

    A comrade; a companion; an associate.

  • Peer (noun)

    Someone who pees, someone who urinates.

  • Colleague (noun)

    A fellow member of a profession, staff, academic faculty or other organization; an associate.

  • Colleague (verb)

    To unite or associate with another or with others.

    “Young Fortinbras,/ Holding a weak supposal of our worth/…Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,/…hath not failed to pester us with message/ Importing the surrender of those lands/Lost by his father. – Hamlet (Act I, Scene 2)”


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