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Properties of Competing Organizations

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Abstract

Competition between organizations is a pervasive feature of many societies. It is structurally present when the pay-off relations between alternative uses of resources and/or alternative suppliers are zero sum or variable sum. Competition affects the structure and functioning of competing organizations by making multiple and often contradictory demands on them, such as for quick adaptation to the moves of rivals, for creative actions to outride rivals, for efficiency, for insulating the organization from future attacks, etc. Although the intensity of competition depends partly on structural factors like the number and size distribution of rivals and the sophistication of their rivals, it also is a decision variable and depends upon the ideological and other choices the managements of competing organizations make. Competitive conduct takes several forms. What form it takes depends upon a host of structural factors as well as upon the preferences of the managements of the competing organizations. Both the form and the intensity of competitive conduct has important administrative consequences.

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