Competition in Society and the Corporate World

Competition is an economic term relating to the rivalry among sellers in trying to achieve specific goals such as profit maximization, market presence and the sales volume.


Competition is a norm in the business world, however, contrary to popular opinion, competition begins at childhood and is nurtured within children by society. First introduced to children from within the education system, children are expected to surpass their peers and achieve supremacy in certain aspects of their educational career, with the intention of being successful in their adult lives.


For example, children strive to excel in sports, in semester exams and in other co-curricular activities, such as clubs and societies. Although people criticize the introduction of competition early on into their lives, the following advantages can be seen through this,


  1. Competition inspires children to do their best, it inspires them to push their limits and achieve their true potential. When students compete, they become more inquisitive, independent as well as social. They strive to go above and beyond what is expected of them, which in turns gives them a competitive edge later on in their lives – when they compete for admission into Universities as well as jobs in reputed organizations.
  2. Competition causes children to judge themselves against others, thus training them to accept failure without losing self-esteem.
  3. Competition teaches critical thinking, decision-making and problem solving – these being very important skills that are required in order for countries to survive in the global economy. Certain centers of research claim that competition in childhood enhances learning, physical fitness and reduces juvenile delinquency.


However people express certain adverse views when considering competition in children,


“In a competitive culture, a child is told that it isn’t enough to be good. He must triumph over others. But the more he competes, the more he needs to compete to feel good about himself. But winning doesn’t build character; it just lets a child gloat temporarily. By definition, not everyone can win a contest. If one child wins, another cannot. Competition leads children to envy winners, to dismiss losers.”

– Alfie Kohn


Apart from one’s childhood, competition exists in the corporate world within business organizations and between nations and alliances.


In my opinion, competition should be embraced from childhood all the way into the corporate world because,


  1. Competition forces you to focus on your core audience – market competitors will force you to pay close attention to your target group.
  2. Competition reduces contentment – in order to consistently innovate and better themselves, employees will be encouraged to push themselves.
  3. Competition leads to innovation – if you’re the only player in your field, it will become difficult to improve – however if you’re working in a market with a lot of players, you won’t succeed by doing what everyone else does. Healthy competition encourages change, which will distinguish yourself and your company from others.
  4. Seeing what your competitors do well can teach you about your own business. Their business practices will provide you with valuable insight into the state of the market and help show you what works – and what doesn’t.
  5. As one of several companies offering a similar product, you will be forced to compete for customers; this causes you to improve your customer service and helps you to garner more loyal customers.


“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” – If you pay attention, your competition can teach you the biggest lessons. Closely watching the actions of your competitors allows you to save valuable funds and time that would otherwise have been spent on Research and Development.


A competitive market is what drives capitalism – competition drives us to be the best we can be. It has the ability to take us out of our comfort zone and forces us to create better products and services.
Competition has existed over millennia as proven by Charles Darwin in his Theory of Evolution. Animals compete among themselves in order to survive, through which the fittest triumph. With regard to the concept of the ‘Survival of the Fittest’, humans have evolved over the ages in order to arrive at this point in time. Competition is necessary in order to survive, evolve and embrace the future, even if it exists within Human Society itself – hence this leads me to conclude that competition is in fact ‘good’.


 Alfie Kohn (No Contest: The Case Against Competition)



 Jason Saltzman –

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