Collaboration trumps competition in high-tech project teams
by Michel Avital; Baldev Singh
International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering (IJODE), Vol. 1, No. 4, 2011

Abstract: The tension between competition and collaboration in teams raises a question how to balance between these two different strategies to enhance the performance of teams. It has been established that both competition and collaboration have a positive impact on team performance. However, given that measures that enhance competition tend to jeopardise collaboration and vice versa, it remains unclear how to balance the two in order to attain an optimal impact on performance. Building on quantitative data from 176 IT projects in Motorola and its affiliates, we analysed the influence of intra-team collaboration and competition on project performance. The results suggest a strong and broad positive influence of intra-team collaboration on project performance; but only a limited influence of intra-team competition. Subsequently, we discuss further implications to forming and managing effective teamwork in IT projects and potentially in other functional areas.

Online publication date: Sat, 24-Jan-2015

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