Interacting-for-Benefit > Cooperating for Results > Intrinsic Tension

Intrinsic Tension in Cooperation

Shared Endeavours involve Participants

There is a dynamic in cooperation that you will recognize from past experiences. It is the tension between: serving the shared endeavour of the group and each participant looking after themselves.

This duality is labelled: Participants v Shared Endeavour.

Participants may be:

The participant pole is what provides the motivation, makes the choices, contributes the resources, and does the work.

Shared Endeavour may be owned or generated by some form of social group:

The shared endeavour pole is what provides the authorization, determines the structure of work, specifies the resources required (and often provides these, totally or in part), and acts as a benchmark as to progress. The endeavour can be a time-limited project or an ongoing collaboration.

Where does the responsibility for cooperation arise?Closed Participants find themselves part of a shared endeavour through being a part-owner or member and so having a commitment and personal interest, or through being agents or employees of the owner and so being obligated under a contract willingly entered.


As we examine each Level of choice in regard to cooperation, we will need to consider how this polarity manifests. At some Levels, the two polar opposites will exist as distinct forms, while in others the polarity must be fused to produce a balanced form.

In text and diagrams, the participant form will be indicated by a subscript P, and the shared endeavour form will be indicated by a subscript S. As a matter of convention, the dominant form will be placed on the right in the diagram.

Fusion or synthesis of the two perspectives will be indicated, if required, by a subscript B (for balanced) in the text, and by [B] in diagrams. A balanced mode will be placed centrally.

Originally posted: July 2009

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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