Employee Ranking Systems LO17496

Sun, 22 Mar 1998 12:07:21 -0800

Replying to LO17335 --

Richard Goodale writes:
> So, until either one or both of of us changes certain aspects of our
> mental model(s), we're doomed to disagree, at least on this issue. I'm
> willing to learn. Can you give me any empirical or anecdotal evidence to
> support your belief in the antithetical nature of cooperation and
> competition? I'll give you one that supports my beliefs: the
> cooperation/competition within and betweeen the Watson/Crick and
> Wilkins/Franklin teams which led to the discovery of the structure of DNA.

Does that example really support your beliefs? In particular:
- Was it the system of cooperation/competition that led to the discovery?
- Could the discovery have been made without that system (if, say, only one
team had been working on it)? If it could have, did the system in some
way enhance or diminish the discovery? What other, possibly unintended,
effects did the system have on the research community?

In the advocacy/inquiry going on here, we should try to be careful to
examine the assumptions and reasoning that lie behind our various
opinions, not to mention the personal preferences and prejudices we bring
to it.

Here's another example of a cooperation/competition system to examine: in
a professional sports organization, there's intense competition among the
players trying increase their playing time; once on the field or court,
however, there's not an iota of room for competition between teammates, if
the team is to be competitive in the game. Another limit to the internal
competition is the dedication to the team as a whole; it's not worth doing
something to increase one's playing time if that will hurt the team's


Don Dwiggins "The truth will make you free, SEI Information Technology but first it will make you miserable" d.l.dwiggins@computer.org -- Tom DeMarco

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