6 When InternalCompetition TurnsFriends into Enemies

THE DEGREE OF COMPETITION in any society or company is largely a matter of choice, not the inevitable result of some property of human nature.1 Companies and societies vary dramatically in how much they use competition to organize what people do. Some companies and cultures have less competition and instead emphasize cooperation. Others, particularly in the United States, emphasize competition as an organizing principle. Most Americans believe that competition is good for national economic systems, producing innovation and the efficient allocation of resources. “Competition… is believed to inspire superior performance and to be the engine that drives the economy and accounts for the success ...

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