Greed and fear hinders teamwork

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London, Oct 10 (IANS) While working on a project, have you noticed someone who does not align with the team and remains obstructive throughout?

According to a recent research, greed and fear are the basic reasons with such people’s underlying problems with teamwork.

“People are afraid that their contribution will mainly benefit those people who themselves contribute nothing. That’s why people hold back and invest in self-protection rather than cooperation,” said Carsten de Dreu, Professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, in a statement.

The findings showed that people devise strategies to maximise the benefits for themselves and to reduce the risk of being exploited.

“Fear is almost always present as a brake on cooperation, but it’s more difficult to predict when greed will crop up,” De Dreu added.

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When motivated by greed, people seem to invest mainly in self-protection and less in attacks on others.

The paradox is that fear among rival groups tends to result in people working better together.

The fear of something or some people within the group can cause people within a group to work better together.

It seems to happen almost automatically, often without it even being discussed, the researchers said.

In further studies, De Dreu wants to examine what human brain looks like when people are working together, and whether oxytocin – the cuddle hormone – plays a role in cooperation.

He also intends to investigate the effect of ‘institutions’ such as religion and legislation which has an obvious influence on human behaviour, especially in the matter of cooperation.

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