Competition is, in general, a contest or rivalry between two or more entities, organisms, animals , individuals, economic groups or social groups, etc., for territory , a niche, for scarce resources, goods , for mates, for prestige, recognition, for awards, for group or social status, or for leadership and profit. It arises whenever at least two parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared, where one's gain is the other's loss (an example of which is a zero -sum game).
Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For example, animals compete over water supplies, food , mates, and other biological resources. Humans usually compete for food and mates, though when these needs are met deep rivalries often arise over the pursuit of wealth , power, prestige, and fame.
Competition is often considered to be the opposite of cooperation, however in the real world , mixtures of cooperation and competition are the norm. Optimal strategies to achieve goals are studied in the branch of mathematics known as game theory .
Competition is also a major tenet of market economies and business . It is often associated with business competition as most companies are in competition with at least one other firm over the same group of customers. Also competition inside a company is usually stimulated with the larger purpose of meeting and reaching higher quality of services or improved products that the company may produce or develop.