GRE Issue Essay 168

“People work more productively in teams than individually. Teamwork requires cooperation, which motivates people much more than individual competition does.”

Competition is the backbone for success in the modern world. An inherent strength for excelling in your career can be successfully derived from the force of individual competition. One cannot expect to be successful in his career if he lacks competitive spirit. At the same time, the cooperation required for teamwork ensures that the workforce of all the individual team members is united and the team is able to provide better results in addition to better productivity. Productivity may depend on the type of work involved as well. There are certain types of tasks where individuals may be able to show increased productivity if they are working on their own; whereas there may be tasks where better results can be produced only if teamwork is involved. Therefore, individual competition and team work are both essential for high productivity depending on the types of works that are involved.

It has been seen that teamwork is generally at a disadvantage in respect of productivity due to negative competitiveness. There may be a difference of opinion amongst the individual team members and neither of them would be willing to accept the point of view of the others. Each of the individual team members makes a bid to impress his immediate superiors in order to display his capability in outshining the others when it comes to providing effective results. There would be team members who are willing to go to any extent just to let down the others. This kind of attitude can be detrimental to the productivity of the team. However, the presence of an effective team leader can sort out all such problems and ensure that the teamwork progresses smoothly in the right direction. The research and development departments of almost all business establishments consist of research teams who are successful in developing new products. An individual may not be able to demonstrate the same level of productivity when he is working on his own despite the fact that he may be having a high competitive spirit.

On the contrary, preparation for exams is an area where one can be expected to produce greater productivity if he is studying alone as compared to studying in a group. Although, there are a number of students who are comfortable studying in groups as they can discuss their problems; they would like to be on their own as the exams draw closer. This is because students tend to talk amongst themselves more as compared to concentrating on studies whenever they are studying in a group. It is a well known fact that people like writers and painters look for solitude whenever they have to think of new concepts for their pieces of writing or art. This is because such people have always been found to be more productive when they are working on their own. At the same time, organizations like ad agencies require more than one designer to work on designing an advertisement and more often than not this form of teamwork is able to yield good results. Therefore, it is not necessary that either individual competitive spirit or teamwork alone is sufficient for high productivity.

There should be a willingness among team members to accept each other’s ideas, failing which a team will not be able to produce good results. On the other hand, an individual must not let go of his competitive spirit without which it will not be possible for him to succeed in his endeavors. In conclusion, it is necessary to strike a balance between individual competition and teamwork to attain the highest standards of productivity. It is up to the team leader to be able to extract the best possible level of work from the team members even if it means that they be allowed to work on their own for short durations in order to contribute to the teamwork.