It is best to foster internal competition to improve performance
There is no question, the authors say, that competition between employees can have a positive, short-term effect on individual performance. But research demonstrates time and again that the performance of the whole -- the whole department, the whole company -- is much better served by encouraging teamwork. For one, almost all tasks require teamwork for their optimum performance. Second, given the social nature of human beings (the need for "camaraderie"), morale is boosted in a team setting and this, in turn, boosts performance. The survey data show clearly that, on average, working as a team is much less of a problem within units, such as departments, than across units. The conflicts between units (such as between IT and its user divisions) can be severe and debilitating for the individuals involved and for the company as a whole. People come to work to work, not to fight. The authors suggest a specific method for overcoming the misperceptions and distrust that are at the heart of most conflicts within companies.