Cooperation and competition in the context of organic and Mechanic worldviews – a theoretical and case based discussion

Journal of Business Ethics 66 (1):19-32 (2006)
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
Keywords collusion  competition  cooperation  fair trade  mechanistic worldview  organic worldview  sustainability
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