Deustch’s theory of cooperation and competition : An Enduring contribution to teams

Dean William TJOSVOLD, David JOHNSON

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


Based on social interdependence theorizing and the ideas of Lewin’s Center for the Study of Group Dynamics, Morton Deutsch proposed in 1949 that how group members believe their goals are related very much impacts their dynamics and success. Hundreds of studies summarized in meta-analyses document that cooperative goals promote communication and exchange and, more recently, the open-minded discussion of opposing views, dynamics in turn that result in group productivity, individual learning, psychological health, and relationships. Recent research has used the theory to understand such organizational issues as power and to test the theory’s universalistic aspirations. Validated procedures are being used around the world to promote educational goals. Leaders and members can use cooperation knowledge to make their increasingly diverse and dispersed teams work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWork teams : past, present and future
EditorsMichael M. BEYERLEIN
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789401594929
ISBN (Print)9789048156092
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameSocial Indicators Research Series


  • Cooperative Learning
  • Opposing View
  • Cooperative Effort
  • Positive Interdependence
  • Goal Interdependence


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