'Not born to compete': Individual and organisational reluctance to compete

Cardona, Francesca (2010) 'Not born to compete': Individual and organisational reluctance to compete. Organisational and Social Dynamics, 10 (2). pp. 207-218. ISSN 1474-2780 (Print) ; 2044-3765 (Online)

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This paper offers a perspective on psychodynamic and cultural processes behind the reluctance to compete in individuals and organisations. The cases discussed, all based on consultancy assignments in the public and voluntary sector, are linked to three main conceptual frameworks: defensive narcissism (Britton, 2003), psychic retreat (Steiner, 1993), and fear of envy (Stein, 2000). In all the examples, the capacity to engage with the ‘other’ is impaired: individuals and teams struggle to relate to what is perceived as a threatening and disturbing external world. The paper also discusses the question: does competition mean the demise of cooperation? Through an example based on the author's experience as director of a group relations conference she explores how cooperation and competition are intrinsically linked, but need constant balancing and how it is important to foster social reciprocity to limit the more disruptive elements of competition (Marris, 1996).

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available via PEP Web
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Group Processes/Group Dynamics
Psychological Therapies, Psychiatry, Counselling > Consultation
Department/People: Tavistock Consultancy Service
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2015

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