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Cooperation and Competition in the Context of Organic and Mechanic Worldviews: A Theoretical and Case Based Discussion

Knut J. Ims and Ove D. Jakobsen
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 66, No. 1, Proceedings of the 18th Eben Annual Conference in Bonn (Jun., 2006), pp. 19-32
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25123809
Page Count: 14
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Cooperation and Competition in the Context of Organic and Mechanic Worldviews: A Theoretical and Case Based Discussion
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Abstract

In this study we argue that there is an interconnection between; the mechanistic worldview and competition, and the organic worldview and cooperation. To illustrate our main thesis we introduce two cases; first, Max Havelaar, a paradigmatic case of how business might function in an economy based upon solidarity and sustainability. Second, TINE, a Norwegian grocery corporation engaged in collusion in order to force a small competitor out of the market. On the one hand, in order to encourage market behaviour that integrates economic, societal and environmental values we find that transparent cooperation within a context of an organic worldview takes care of important intrinsic as well as instrumental values. On the other hand, we find evidence for asserting that cooperation based upon a mechanistic worldview, typically leads to group egotistical consequences undermining the long term common good.

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