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Competitive motives and strategies : understanding constructive competition
Group Dynamics
  • Dean William TJOSVOLD, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • David W. JOHNSON, University of Minnesota, United States
  • Roger T. JOHNSON, University of Minnesota, United States
  • Haifa SUN, South China Normal University, China
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
  • Competition,
  • Motives,
  • Social interdependence

This study examines the impact of motives and strategies on the constructiveness of competition. Sixty-four managers and 28 employees from Mainland China organizations described specific incidents of competition, from which indices of constructive competition were developed. They then rated motives and strategies that were hypothesized to affect competition and its outcomes. These indices of constructive competitive were then correlated with the motives and strategies. The results indicated that internal motivation to compete and the strategy of competing fairly were found to be the most powerful influences on the constructiveness of competition. Task and ego motives, extrinsic motivation, the motive to prevent others from benefiting, and the strategy to obstruct the other had very little impact on constructive competition.

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Copyright © 2006 American Psychological Association

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Citation Information
Tjosvold, D., Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Sun, H. (2006). Competitive motives and strategies: Understanding constructive competition. Group Dynamics, 10(2), 87-99. doi: 10.1037/1089-2699.10.2.87