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With escalating support for democracy and capitalism, value of competition has been absorbed in the society. Competition has emerged as an economic aspect in the society. Competition has positive and negative effects on the society. Notably, competition has reduced cooperation levels in the society. Loewen attempts to provide answers that revolve around the structure of the society.
He discusses different behaviors of people and impacts of social structures on the society. The book provides ideal recommendations on changes that the society should adopt. The essay will highlight benefits of competition in the society. Negative aspects associated with overemphasis on competition will also be presented. Advantages of cooperation and convergence of ideas will be scrutinized. A valid conclusion on whether the society can adopt cooperation model will be made.
Diversity is one of positive effects of competition on the society. There is a variety of products and services bringing the increase of consumer satisfaction. Diversity is embedded on innovation or creativity that every firm adopts, so as to enjoy competitive advantage. Prices of products and services are reduced, thus affecting consumers positively. Notably, price is competitive and salience is proportional to price of products. In this regard, consumers are more likely to purchase products that are cheap than buy the expensive ones. As a result, products are relatively cheaper since there are available substitutes as opposed to a situation of monopoly. High quality has also been embraced by firms as a way of satisfying consumers. Firms compete to deliver goods of high quality and low price to consumers so as to enjoy large market share.
Competition has shifted the focus from compliance to ethics. Businesses not only concentrate on satisfying existing legal concepts, but also wining over consumers. In process of maintaining loyalty and salience, businesses assume humanistic approach of doing what is morally right and acceptable by the society. Moreover, there is an inclination to the emotional aspect as the focus is on ensuring that products foster a long term and intrinsic relationship with consumers. As opposed to monopoly, competition ensures that needs of consumers are met in the best way possible. Businesses have to establish trust with consumers and ensure that presence of their products is felt rather than seen.
Competition has shifted the focus from services provided to relationship fostered. Competitive advantage is dependent on the extent, to which a firm adopts emotional approach. For marketing strategies to be effective, emotional element has to be present. Adoption of emotion by firms has increased consumer satisfaction thereby benefiting the society. Despite emergence of many firms, consumer’s welfare has been addressed in a humane way. All firms focus on fulfilling needs of consumers, as opposed to overemphasis on economic growth in a situation of monopoly. In this regard, competition fosters growth of many humanistic traits like honesty.
In spite of many benefits associated with competition in the society, there are negative aspects associated with the concept especially when it is overemphasized. “Stressing how middle class we are today is extremely problematic” (Loewen 206). Competition advocacy means that new entrants are encouraged to engage in business activities. Since consumer satisfaction is a competitive process, new entrants focus on meeting demands. It should, however, be noted that some approaches reduce willpower and rationality of consumers, thereby affecting the society negatively. For instance, some firms may take advantage of the fact that target consumers are middle class earners and have a need for cheap products. In such a case, competition would lead to emergence of products that are of low quality and price.
Despite the desire for cheap products, quality and safety should be emphasized, if competition is to be of help to the society. Suboptimal competition that reduces willpower of consumers, negatively affects the society. Further, increased population reduces cooperation and cohesion in the society. Cooperation of firms is associated with collective economic growth of society. Diversification is not always likely to affect the society positively. For instance, combined efforts by collection of firms are likely to benefit the society wholesomely and address the issue of classism. Over inclination on competition, on the other hand, promotes success of individuals and not groups.
Selfishness is one of the negative human aspects that are likely to arise, when competition is overemphasized. Competition means that individual firms will concentrate on their own satisfaction and profitability. Since competition is money driven, firms will only focus on achieving prestige and satisfaction. Lack of cohesion or cooperation will increase incidence of selfishness. There will be reluctance in combination of efforts and resources, since all firms will have similar goals of profitability that they want to enjoy individually.
It should be noted that competitive advantage can only be maintained, if there is rivalry especially among firms of the same industry. Competition that fails to satisfy the needs of consumers and entire society fosters negative human aspects. Dishonesty is also likely to be fostered especially in reducing will power of consumers. Increased competition will reduce business opportunities and new entrants will opt to engage in deceitful or unethical acts, so as to be able to secure market share. Deceitful acts like dishonesty will not draw collective concern, since individual firms concentrate only on their activities.
Despite increased advocacy for competition, it is not likely to affect the society in a positive way. As a matter of fact, a more collaborative model that emphasizes on cooperation has been preferred by most scholars. It should, however, be noted that adoption of a cooperative model is extremely difficult with increased competition. Profitability is one of the reasons why it is difficult for the society to adopt cooperative values. Every company focuses on maximization of profits and combined efforts would mean equal share of returns. In spite of the fact that combined efforts are likely to yield more results, individual firms prefer enjoying undivided benefits.
Supremacy and brand dominance that are sought by most firms would be of no value, if cooperative model was to be adopted by the society. Further, it is difficult to assume a cooperative model since firms are not equal. For instance, those firms that are enjoying a competitive advantage would find it hard to combine their efforts with new entrants. Some companies may lack sufficient capital required in establishment of a cooperative relationship. Creativity would also render cooperation of firms difficult. Strategies of diversification are not uniform and it would be impossible to cover all of them in a unified approach.
Despite the fact that human beings are social, cooperation is not automatic. Human beings live in societies that are shaped by many factors including identity and classicism. Human beings identify with social environment and perceive people from other places as foreigners. “Social class determines how people think about society” (Loewen 209). Behaviors and thoughts of people are influenced by social structures. In spite of the fact that people from different places socialize, cooperation is a process that calls for more identity and intimacy.
For instance, development of human beings is influenced by different surroundings. Notably, cooperation is difficult since human beings are influenced by environments differently and do not have similar interests. Further, individualization perception that focuses on personal victory discourages incidence of cooperation. Just like firms, individuals feel that they can succeed on their own and prefer individual approach to cooperative one. Moreover, people have different qualities that cannot exist in cooperation but assume individual approach.
Social factors like classism and racism also reduce the degree of cooperation. Human beings are influenced by social structures that they live in. Since the society focuses more on competition than cooperation, human beings will tend to compete rather than cooperate. Competition is associated with individual success as opposed to cooperation that highlights group success. In this regard, competition is more important to human beings than cooperation.
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Competition is preferred to cooperation due to existing social structures. It should, however, be noted that adoption of a cooperative model is likely to lead to more benefits in the society than the competitive approach. “Social class is most important variable in the society” (Loewen 207). It determines the degree of cooperation and competition. Cooperation addresses needs of all people in the society, while competition favors welfare of those who are well endowed. Cooperation further transcends beyond objective of economic growth to social and psychological needs of the society. Cooperation would ensure combined efforts by firms in the society hence increased profitability. For instance, firms could combine their capital and share operational costs, thereby targeting a wider market.
In this regard, a firm that previously had insufficient capital could end up venturing in business hence economic growth. Firms that have already established markets at a national level could expand to the global level through cooperation. As a matter of fact, cooperation has been associated with success by most scholars in recent years. Cooperation is the best way to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor. Cooperation is likely to ensure collective benefits for society at a global level, as opposed to competition that benefits few affluent.
Our society has been influenced by social structures like competition to a large extent. As much as cooperation model might be attractive to the society, the process of its adoption would be difficult. “Few high schools offer anthropology courses” (Loewen 297). In this regard, social structures should be tamed in a way that promotes cooperation. Such changes can be interpreted as a process of taming the society. Despite the fact that taming the society would be a difficult process, it is possible to restructure the society.
Social structures are made by human beings and restructuring would mean reviewing existing organs. For instance, environment that influences human development can be manipulated in desired way. Incorporation of desired aspects in social environments like curriculum is a viable way to restructure the society. It should, however, be observed that results can only be realized gradually and not instantly. In this regard, young or future generations are likely to demonstrate a perfect version of the desired structure of the society.
Competition is one of existing social structures in the society today. The concept is associated with positive and negative effects in the society. Ideal competition promotes satisfaction of consumers, but overemphasis is likely to harbor adverse effects. Cooperation approach is better than competition model since it ensures collective benefits. Cooperation narrows the gap between poor and affluent significantly. The model is, however, difficult for most firms, since economic gain assumes high priority in the society. Despite the fact that taming is a long term strategy, it is the most ideal approach to restructure the society.
Loewen, James. Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong. New York: New York Press, 1995. Print.