Competition LO17974

Ed Brenegar (
Mon, 4 May 1998 08:50:54 +0100

Replying to LO17945 --


I don't think we differ that greatly. You wrote:
>I guess one reason is because my mental models don't demand a
>passive-aggressive evaluation of cooperation and competition.


>I think we can find competition and cooperation occurring simultaneously on
>levels within an organization. Competing for initial hiring; job
>transfers; promotions; assignments. Cooperating within
>elements for successful projects and operational goals.
>A number of similar examples are coming to me as I write. I suspect that
>this is the 80% of Pareto's Law. Within the 20% exception (if it's that
>great) are the milquetoasts and steroid-hyped competitors. They probably
>won't be too successful in many organizational niches (indeed, the latter
>probably ends up as a self-employed consultant or Pro Wrestler, wouldn't
>you think?).

I think peoples' behaviors are an amalgam of many attitudes. No one is
entirely cooperative, nor competitive. The 80/20 rule may work here, too.
I guess I do see the passive/aggressive scale here because of the groups
with whom I've worked over the years. If you buy into a learning
organization philosophy, then it is difficult not to become more
cooperative, because the individual no longer works to preserve safety and
equilibrium, but maximize learning and growth. It is an open view of
work, rather than a closed one.

I can't isolate competition/cooperation from other issues, like resistance
to change and attitudes toward diversity. The balance for me is a
constant moving target as in those niches in which you refer,
simultaneously required us to compete and cooperate. That to me is the

Thanks for helping me clarify my thinking. I'm sure that needs to

Ed Brenegar
Leadership Resources
828/693-0720 Voice/Fax


"Ed Brenegar" <>

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