Friend & Foe: When To Cooperate, When To Compete, And How To Succeed At Both

Feb 23, 2016

  What does it take to succeed? This question has fueled a long running debate. Some have argued that humans are a fundamentally competitive, and that pursuing self-interest is the best way to get ahead. Others claim that humans are born to cooperate and that we are most successful when we collaborate with others.

In Friend & Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both, researchers Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer  explain why this debate misses the mark. Rather than being hardwired to compete or cooperate, we have evolved to do both. In every relationship, from co-workers to friends to spouses to siblings we are both friends and foes. It is only by learning how to strike the right balance between these two forces that we can improve our long-term relationships and get more of what we want. 

Maurice Schweitzer is the Cecilia Yen Koo Professor at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Originally aired in November 2015.