Book Review of No Contest: The Case Against Competition

Journal of Marketing, October 1988

3 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2011

See all articles by J. Scott Armstrong

J. Scott Armstrong

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department

Date Written: October 1, 1988


Many marketing people accept competition as a desirable and effective way to improve performance. Is there any scientific support for this viewpoint?

Marketing managers often try to promote competition among their salespeople by offering incentives to the best performer. Marketing professors use competitive reward structures to motivate people to learn. Marketing planners develop strategies to defeat their competitors as a way to ensure their company's success.

Advice to marketing people on how to fight the competitive struggle can be found in books with titles such as Battling for Profits: How to Win on the Marketing Battlefield (Hendon 1986). Even standard texts, such as Kotler's (1984) Marketing Management, devote considerable attention to marketing as a type of warfare (Chapter 12). However, I had not been aware of any empirical work that explicitly examined the value of competition in marketing. Kotler's Chapter 12 does not cite any empirical support.

Keywords: book review, corporate competition, marketing.

Suggested Citation

Armstrong, J. Scott, Book Review of No Contest: The Case Against Competition (October 1, 1988). Journal of Marketing, October 1988. Available at SSRN:

J. Scott Armstrong (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Marketing Department ( email )

700 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
3730 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340
United States
215-898-5087 (Phone)
215-898-2534 (Fax)


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