Turning the other cheek – has been the wisdom. But is it practical? Why not give someone back just what you have got? Specially in the cut throat competitive world of corporates. What is the worth of this wisdom then?
A lot! According to a Harvard University study, nice guys – who do not “hit back” but cooperate with their enemies despite nastiness from the other side, do finish up at the top.
This game has been played across years and has been tested 8000 times. The tool for punishment and reward are dimes.
The normal game of prisoner’s dilemma gives two players two options: cooperate or defect. If both cooperate, each ends up winning a dime. If both defect, each gets nothing. If one cooperates and the other defects, the cooperative player loses 20 cents and the defector wins 30 cents.
Along the line, “costly punishment” component was added. A player could choose to punish someone who didn’t cooperate. That penalized the non-cooperative person 40 cents, but the other player had to pay a dime to mete out the punishment.
Who didn’t succeed? Those who meted others punishment.
Who succeeded? Those who faced a nasty opponent and still did not hand them a punishment.
A rather interesting lesson for the corporate executives (MBAs from Harvard may need it a lot!):
Helping others irrespective of what they do to you!
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