Programmed Competitors?

R. W. Berg, from the Norwegian School of Management, introduces the idea and concept of the Red-blue competition. In which two teams are created and asked to chose either the color red or blue with a point system. Where if both teams choose the same color they both benefit.

What was interesting about this article is the fact that those aware of the tactic are likely to choose the right answer (in this case red) whereas those who have no idea are more likely to choose blue. What truly fascinated me and is something that can be seen in our daily lives is the fact that those who chose red and were then screwed over by the other team choosing blue would quickly loose confidence in their tactic and will start to choose blue as a “defense mechanism” per say.

This is something that is not only seen in this experiment but can be seen in day to day life. You may be told at times that what you are doing is correct even if the majority do not do it the same way however at some point one may loose confidence in this opinion as they are going against the rest of society who may be seen to be gaining way more in the short term than you are. Which means as a result you are very likely to change your methods to those of the others which means you gain in the short term like everyone else. However, if you had stuck to your prior methods you may have gained a lot more in the long term.

This conformation to the other team strategy because they seem to be gaining more in the moment is something that truly interests me and makes me agree with the opinions of the author about trust and cooperation between the teams. As mentioned about the collusion between the two teams and the lack of trust in between these two teams. Or being “forced”  by the other team to adopt their strategy is something that happens everyday and can be seen in almost all circumstances.

The author raises an excellent point about how all these different factors relate to the attitude between the teams and towards each other. They may collude but they are not wholeheartedly trusting each other with their decision and are very likely to act in their own self-interest causing them to gain at the expense of the other team loosing a great amount. To relate it to a real life example is the reason there is no perfect oligopolictic cartel as oligopolies of the same market lack the trust in each other that must be present for a cartel to work and be effective.

The overall idea of the text that I understood was that we are programmed to compete over colluding which I can’t 100% agree with. Yes, I believe it is in our nature to compete but there are certain times we do naturally collude an example would be reproduction. One does not compete with the mate. Granted, you compete for the mate but once you have them (either by them choosing you or by winning the competition) there is no longer a need to compete but to work with the partner to a common goal (in this case, offsprings). Which means that though Berg is not wrong with that conclusion I cannot agree with it wholeheartedly because I believe there are times in our life as both animals and people that there is no need to compete but to simply collude.


#P05 #Oligopolies #BusinessandCompetition #Red-Blueexpermient

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