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Competition or Cooperation


Whilst I have my own views and some supporting literature, details of any further references, articles, papers or other information sources etc to respond the question below would be appreciated. Thanks

Is management effectiveness best achieved through 'Competition' or 'Cooperation' among employees?

Michael Bye

5 Responses

  1. Competition
    Our view is that cooperation is healthier. Internal competition can be ruinous to some businesses as it often is not checked. However we find that team cooperation with interdepartmental targets has been a good model. This has taken into account the competitive spirit of some employees whilst retaining the team unity.

    We hope this helps.

    Good luck with your research.

    Sue McGaughran
    Training By Design Global Ltd

  2. No such thing as healthy
    I despair when I work with organisations who suggest that “a little healthy competition between departments/people is a good thing”. I truly believe there is no such thing as healthy in this respect. Internal competition is a pointless exercise which leads nowhere and diverts attention from gaining competitive advantage in the real competitive arena. Internal competition suggests an attitude of management that people should be made to fight with each other a bit but notice that we (in management) are not in the competition – just watching as they argue, cheat, lie, withhold information to win our favour – how entertaining.

    Clive Hook
    Serious, Passionate and Opinionated about learning

  3. Cooperate!
    Hi Michael,

    All the examples I’ve worked with have shown that COOPERATION ie striving to a common goal, produces much better results than “Devil take the hindmost”.
    I find the competition comes mostly from having sub-optimised or even conflicting, goals & thus no-one is working to “the common good”. You might find “Improving Performance – managing the white space on the Org Chart” by Rummler & Brache helpful.


  4. it all depends on who is defining “management effectiveness” and
    My experience is that if the definer of effectiveness has a hidden agenda then the concept of competition can suit their needs admirably.
    every competition, no matter how much it is dressed up as friendly, healthy etc, implies and demands winners and losers. Winners tend to become arrogant and losers tend to become demotivated. I have seen organisations tear themselves apart on a large and small scale by introducing internal competetiveness. Sadly so many senior managers got there from having intensely competitive natures that it tends to be self perpetuating.

  5. Beware The Sword
    I must agree with Clive I have found that healthy competition does not truly exist, I have found human nature especially in “management” means get the “padded Jackets” out and await the sword to strike your back,I am amused at what some extrodinary lengths people will do to “win” the healthy competition and impress thier bosses.
    Co-operation and communication is far more effective.

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