Turbulent changes in the marketplace have convinced many dentists, physicians, lawyers and other professionals that they must learn to manage a business. The article investigates the relationships dentists develop with people outside their practice as they seek advice to deal with business problems. The professions must cope with rapid changes in consumer preferences and expectations, increased competition, the decline of monopolies and the explosion of knowledge. Fifty-two self-employed dentists were interviewed to test the usefulness of the theory of cooperation and competition to analyze professional networking. These dentists were able to network effectively to solve business problems when they developed cooperative goals and discussed their views open-mindedly. Studies have found that people with cooperative goals discuss problems and assist and influence each other effectively. Meta-analyses support the propositions that cooperative goals and interaction contribute to productivity and morale.
Copyright © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
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