Competition in the Workplace


Competition has an important place in a supportive culture. There needs to be a catalyst to propel ideas forward or in an another direction, to react to new variables, or to innovate. 

Competition is paradoxical in that it is both isolative and collaborative at the same time. Football is a great example. Players compete against the other team, against their own teammates on the field, and those players who want to take their place. This helps to keep them sharp and improve their performance. Yet, much like in the prisoner’s dilemma-a seminal negotiation exercise, there is a time when competition becomes secondary to collaboration, and to pursue it as a strategy will sub-optimize results. 

This is true in business organizations as well. Without some competition, stagnation may set in. However, too much competition can erode trust and lead to divisiveness in the organization.


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