The 9-11 Trade Emergency – A Market Reset is Urgent


Results coming from research about the efficacies between competition and cooperation was published in the August 2010 edition of the Academy of Management Journal. It suggests that animosity between competing groups will be likely to undermine the free flow of information and other important resources between these entities. However, as group creativity depends, at least to some extent, on the accessibility of resources provided by other groups or units, intergroup competition is likely to undermine creativity not only by constraining within-group collaboration but also by restricting collaboration between groups and units.

In addition, to the extent that the achievement of organizational goals depends on the collaborative effort of all groups or units in an organization, intergroup competition is also likely to negatively impact organization-level performance. Thus, the benefits associated with the intergroup competition may easily be outweighed by its costs, even in more stable environments, and we encourage managers to carefully consider these costs and benefits before using competition to promote the creativity of their groups.

Something the research had also found was how in noncompetitive environments, membership change can be a valid mechanism for enhancing group creativity. Thus, organization leaders interested in stimulating group creativity in such circumstances may purposefully design interventions requiring groups to engage in regular membership exchange. However, caution regarding the frequency and timing of such interventions has to be exercised, as membership change in this study occurred only once and during a natural breakpoint between two tasks and, thus, it could be that change that occurs frequently or in the middle of a task may prove to be too disruptive and ultimately undermine the creativity of groups. Nevertheless, occasional membership change during natural breakpoints appears to be a legitimate mechanism for boosting the creativity of ad hoc groups in noncompetitive environments.

__BAER, M., LEENDERS, R. T. A. J., OLDHAM, G. R., & VADERA, A. K. (2010). Win or Lose the Battle for Creativity: The Power and Perils of Intergroup Competition. Academy of Management Journal, 53(4), 827–845.

Image from ATOM & EVE: The NASA Lectures
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