Competition LO18157
Thu, 21 May 1998 20:24:24 -0700

Replying to LO18115 --

Rol Fessenden writes:
> Don Dwiggins asked for examples of positive competition.

> Don, I don't know how to define positive competition, but I would say that
> in situations where win-win -- some kind of synthesis of positions -- can
> occur, that is probably a best possible case, and should be strived for.

I've become much more sensitized to examples of competition since this
thread started. One of the things I've noticed is that for many people,
competition is part of friendship -- best friends of this type will
frequently play games with each other, sometimes formal games, sometimes
just turning whatever they're doing into an ad-hoc game. I personally
don't do this sort of thing very much, but I think at some level I can
understand what it adds to such friendships.

It would probably be instructive to analyze the social dynamics of these
little competitions. Probably the central question is, why don't the
competitions take over the relationships and destroy the mutual fondness
and trust? If we could answer that one, we might be well along the way to
understanding how competitions in an organizational setting can be
positive. Does anyone know of such analyses in the social or
psychological literature?


Don Dwiggins "We must either learn to live together as brothers SEI Information Technology or we are all going to die as fools." - Martin Luther King

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