Cooperation, competition, and team performance: Toward a contingency approach

Bianca Beersma*, John R. Hollenbeck, Stephen E. Humphrey, Henry Moon, Donald E. Conlon, Daniel R. Ilgen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examined whether the relationship between reward structure and team performance is contingent upon task dimension, team composition, and individual performance level. Seventy-five four-person teams engaged in a simulated interactive task in which reward structure was manipulated. A competitive structure enhanced one task dimension, speed, whereas a cooperative structure enhanced accuracy. Teams with extroverted and agreeable members performed better under the cooperative structure, whereas teams low on these orientations performed better under the competitive structure. Finally, reward structure had more impact on team members with low performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-590
Number of pages19
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


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