Competition in collaborative environments

In research and development, managers need to balance the need for competition with collaboration. Yet, despite best intentions, it's likely that some will feel like it isn't a conducive work environment. If people feel like they're promised the autonomy to decide which areas to explore, but later find out that they're mainly supposed to help others answer their research questions, it's unsurprising that they'd be frustrated and disillusioned.

On the one hand, it's best to give people who are making progress more resources. But, it's hard to know what others are capable of if they haven't been given a chance. So, how can managers set expectations appropriately? It's unreasonable to expect people to suppress their desire to be associated with the Eureka moment. Though, if they don't, it's going to be difficult for them to operate as an effective team.