Fight is common among herbivores or carnivores? Or in other words, do deer fight with elephants or wild beast with zebra the most or hyena with lion or between a lion and cheetah?

This question has great relevance for the corporate than to a biologist as there is a strong corporate management lesson the answer conveys. If one look at from the biological realm, both zebra and wild beast eat the similar plants and so are elephants and deer. When two different species of animals utilizing the same food resources are bound to fight at some time or other due to competition. But such fights among herbivores animals are relatively rare. They graze together accepting each other despite the competition.

Whereas, a lion never tolerates a hyena and so is a hyena, a cheetah, in nature. Why one species of carnivores could not accept other species of carnivores?

Is the threat or fear of predator driving all the herbivores to tolerate each other despite competition?

The fear of predator among herbivores can be quite an unlikely cause for the ‘reasonably the less fight’ seen between different herbivores. The competition for food is as a ‘big a threat’ as predation for any life. Then what would have been the reason?

Herbivores tolerate food competition of other herbivores because they toil less to get their food. Only their ability alone largely determines their food. On the contrary, the ‘food success’ of all predatory animals depends not only upon their strength but also on the stupidity or weakness of the prey.

When ability alone determines ones success, none can snatch the ability. Hence, the self confidence (faith in the ability) of herbivores only allows them to tolerate other herbivores. Whereas, for predators, their mere self confidence (faith in ability) alone is not enough, it also needs to coincide with the weakness of the prey. Whenever there is a competition for exploitation of the weakness of others, the fight is imminent between the two whose life is largely at the ‘weaknesses’ of others.

Corporate should be sensitive as it should not create the culture where one’s success in the organization depends more upon the weakness or stupidity of others. Success should be purely based on one’s ability and capability. If this subtle equation is not understood or calibrated, fight among employees becomes an usual affair.

Organizations need to learn from nature the essential lesson as how to govern the corporate to the total success, inclusive of its people.

Articles by S. Ranganathan, Dr.

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