I've been reading over my lunch today an article by Martin Nowak about co-operation. He views co-operation as interesting as it means that you help someone who is a possible competitor and that you reduce your own success in order to increase the success of someone else.
He highlights some types of reciprocity that knowledge managers might find interesting.
- Direct reciprocity - individuals interact repeatedly - if I help now you may help me later.
- Reputational (my phrase) Indirect reciprocity which takes place in groups - where people see you interact with another person and reach the conclusion that you are a helpful person.
- Spatial selection - where neighbours help each other - they survive by being in clusters this could be of interest in communities of practice but also in organisations especially departments which consider themselves in danger.
- Finally Group selection and he says' it maybe that our group of co-operators is better off than another group of defectors, here selection acts on two levels because in our group there is more co-operation