Competitive motives and strategies : understanding constructive competition

Dean William TJOSVOLD, David W. JOHNSON, Roger T. JOHNSON, Haifa SUN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalGroup Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Competition
  • Motives
  • Social interdependence


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