Competition LO18006

Roxanne Abbas (
Wed, 6 May 1998 14:21:30 -0500

Replying to LO17938 --

Ed Brenegar says:

>Cooperation and competition are products
>of the culture of the organization which is a product of the culture of
>the people involved. I don't think you can have a purely cooperative or
>competitive environment. If we were to put this on a scale, I'm afraid,
>what we'd find is that the person who is purely cooperative is rather
>passive, and the person who is purely competitive is so aggressive that
>they are socio-pathic. So, I think that we need to find a balance
>between both, between passivity and aggressiveness, between listening and
>initiative, between sharing responsibility and being responsible for

What do you think?

This is a topic that I've read and thought a great deal about and the idea
of a correlation between activity level and competitiveness had never
occurred to me. I have been trying to think about this issue in terms of
specific examples, so your message caused me to try to think of some of
the most competitive and most cooperative people I know. Perhaps for the
sake of our discussion we should identify a couple of well known
International figures as our examples. How about Kofi Anin and Mother
Theresa as our cooperatives and Winston Churchill and Bill Gates as our
competitives. All of them are or were extremely active. Perhaps
cooperatives appear to be more passive, because they must be good
listeners. Also, since they don't have the need to "win", they generally
don't seek the limelight.

Rol responded to Ed's message in part with:

"To put your point another way, a highly competitive person cannot
recognize the merits of any opinion except his own. The totally
cooperative person in effect has no opinion."

I agree that the highly competitive person would generally no recognize
the merits of opinions other that his own, however I was stunned by the
thought that the totally cooperative person does not have opinions. Kofi
Anin? Mother Theresa? The Dalai Lama? Martin Luther King?

Maybe I'm not listening hard enough. Rol, Ed, can you help me?


Roxanne Abbas

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