Book Review of No Contest: The Case Against Competition by Alfie Kohn Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986
Journal of Marketing, October 1988
3 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2005 Last revised: 26 Jul 2008
No Contest is a useful book. It summarizes a large body of empirical evidence on competition and does so relatively accurately. Though some bias is present, it does not seem to have a significant effect on the conclusions. This summary of the research should cause us to reconsider the frequent use of the competitive model in our work as marketers, marketing educators, and marketing planners. Until we can produce evidence favoring the use of competition in marketing or related situations, we should be aware that many marketing prescriptions may be based on false premises about the value of competition. These assumptions may lead us to make poor decisions about how to do marketing and how to teach it.
Keywords: Alfie Kohn, competition, marketing
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