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Is Business Strategy a NonZeroSum Game?
Ryan
I found that a ZEROSUM GAME is a game with a clear winner and one or more clear losers. The more outcomes or results one player receives, the fewer outcomes or results are available for the other players. In other words, in zerosum games the total benefit to all players in the game, for every combination of strategies, always adds to zero.
In a NONZEROSUM GAME on the other hand, there is not a fixed pie of outcomes or possible results, there is an opportunity for all players to maximize their outcomes simultaneously. In a worstcase scenario the outcomes of one player do not remove outcomes from any other player. And in a bestcase scenario, the outcomes of one player may be interdependenty linked to the maximization of the other players' outcomes.
Often (typically) business strategy is seen as a zerosum game, but it has elements of both game types ... What are NONzero game characteristics of business strategy?




Rational or not
Ian Sutherland As I understand it, game theory persumes that players on the same side have the same motivation. In business this is rarely true and often it is hard ... 



Assumption of Utility
Mary Indeed Ian, another game theory assumption is that all participants are motivated inherently to maximize their utility (economic measure of desired ou... 



Utility variations
Jaap de Jonge, CEO, Netherlands, Editor Note that there could be conflicting group and individual utilities and shortterm and longterm utilities.... 



Business is a NONzero sum game
srikanth I think the definition of "ZERO SUM GAME" by Ryan is slightly wrong.
A "ZERO SUM GAME " is a game in which the total of all the gains and loss... 



Free Market Exchanges
Richard D. Cushing I would add to and extend srikanth's (India) statement to say this: All reallife business exchanges in a free market are non zerosum games. The as... 



Game Theory literature
Gillion Utens Recommended literature on this subject: Robert Axelrod  The evolution of cooperation (1981). Or watch the BBC documentary "Nice guys finish first" on... 



Differentiation
Bas As was said in the article, this is just a simplification. In the real world, no two consumers are the same.
Companies can differentiate on hundr... 





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