Resource title

Me versus we: balancing cooperation and competition in groups through emotional algorithms

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This paper examines emotional algorithms and their role in a fundamental dilemma that confronts human groups-whether actors should take care of "me" (compete) or take care of "we" (cooperate). The author argues that human emotions, triggered in algorithmic fashion through four common, albeit culturally specified, mechanisms, powerfully direct humans to compete or cooperate. Drawing on evolutionary theory and work within evolutionary psychology, the author first identifies and characterizes these hard-wired emotional algorithms, presenting evidence for their independent existence and influence. Their regulatory influence on human groups, however, can only be appreciated once he examines them as a system. He shows how, as a system, these algorithms help explain the dynamic balance that members of human groups can (and often must) achieve between competition and cooperation. He derives three propositions regarding how these algorithms play out in groups and conclude with a discussion of this system's evolutionary origins. The author also suggests that understanding these dynamics can help leaders better manage cooperation and competition in organizational groups.

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en

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application/pdf

Resource resource URL

http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2003/2003-74.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved