Employee Ranking Systems LO17592

Roxanne Abbas (rabbas@comp-web.com)
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 07:23:36 -0600

Replying to LO17542 --

Richard Goodale says:

"A final note. I posited the Watson-Crick/Wilkins-Franklin example to
stimulate debate. Not a single person has replied publicly or privately
to my gentle challenge to ask for "anecdotal evidence to support your
belief in the antithetical nature of cooperation and competition?" Is
this a hard question, or are there really no viable examples to support
the "absolutist-cooperativist" point of view?"

Richard, I replied to this post on March 8 with the following post:

"I believe that the terms are antithetical by definition. I defer to

Competition - a contest between rivals.

Cooperation - the act or process of cooperating.

Cooperate - to associate with another or others for mutual, often
economic, benefit.

Alfie Kohn defines two types of competition:

Structural competition refers to a situation in which the process divides
the participants into two categories: winners and losers.

Intentional competition refers to the desire on the part of an individual
to be number one.

I can understand that within formal competitive situations, the
participants must cooperate on setting the rules of the game, i.e. we all
agree not to intentionally cause physical injury to the opponent. I
cannot understand how within a competitive situation, participants would
actually help their rivals or strive to work cooperatively for what
Webster calls "mutual benefit". Did Dean Smith, North Carolina basketball
coach, often counsel his arch-rival at Duke? If a Coca-Cola chemist was
having trouble with the beverage formula, would he call Pepsi for help?

End of earlier message.

Duke and North Carolina, Coke and Pepsi, are competitors, rivals. They
don't try to help their rivals to win the game. Of course, the same
individual can co-operate with a team mate or co-worker while competing
with the rival.

Another example. Years ago I car-pooled to the University of Minnesota
with a research physician who was on an exchange program from France. He
told me that his opportunity to learn and work effectively at the
University was very limited because of the competition among schools and
countries to be the first to publish and receive the attendant fame and
fortune for significant medical research findings. Competition restricted
his ability to learn and certainly retarded the advancement of medicine.
Many of the companies I consult with have guards at the door to prevent
industrial spies from entering and information from leaking outside their
doors to their competitors. Employees are required to sign non-compete
agreements which also constrain the advancement of learning as well as the
freedom of individuals. Our economy is based on the principles of
competition and our society has evolved into a world of winners and
losers, haves and have-nots. I'm not sure that this is the best we can

Best regards,


Roxanne Abbas mailto:rabbas@comp-web.com http://www.comp-web.com

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