Lee R. Raymond, ExxonMobil Corp.'s chief executive officer and
chairman from 1999 to 2005, once said: "Competition can be viewed
in two ways. It can be viewed in a negative light and be seen as
destructive, but one can also have the view that it is competition
that drives people and institutions to higher and higher levels of
excellence and, therefore, to more and more opportunity."
According to research conducted by Lawrence Plummer, a visiting
economist at the U.S. Small Business Association, any harm suffered
as a result of competition usually is short-lived. In fact, Plummer
found that if a business can survive in a competitive atmosphere,
all competitors end up better in the end.
Plummer studied the return on assets of 377 public companies
between 1990 and 2004 and tracked competitors within 75 miles of
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