Experiments on Employee and Group Behavior
Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
- Chair: Timothy C. Salmon, Southern Methodist University
The Unrealized Value of Centralization for Coordination
AbstractCentralization and hierarchy can often facilitate efficient coordination. We develop a coordination game in which efficiency obtains easily if subjects adopt a centralized strategy, whereby every player learns a convention from a central player. We then study the extent to which groups adopt this strategy. We find that subjects rarely rely on centralization and hierarchy, even when we make it very easy to do so. However, we also show that, once this strategy is described briefly, groups easily implement it. In a further experiment, we show that even experienced managers fail to identify and implement the benefits of centralization. Our findings suggest that even where the benefits of centralization for efficient coordination are substantial, people's unawareness of such benefits may mean they go unrealized.
The Effects of Different Cognitive Distractions on Economic Decisions
AbstractImposing cognitive load deteriorates economic decision making. This paper compares the impact of four commonly used cognitive load tasks on decision making: a memorization task, a visual task, an auditory task, and time pressure. In a within-subject design, subjects complete a series of risk taking decisions, allocation decisions, pattern recognition, and math problems under each form of cognitive load. The results provide insight on the differences that do/don’t arise across various methods and have implications for understanding the impact that multitasking can have across many employment settings.
Should You Offer to Pay Your Employees to Quit?
AbstractAmazon uses a practice contrary to the conventional wisdom of human resources practices by offering a bonus to employees who quit their jobs during a specified time each year. Conventional expectation would suggest that this would induce Amazon’s best employees with the highest outside options to quit. We investigate the wisdom of this practice by determining whether it might have an alternative effect of the decision to stay in the firm serving as a signal of willingness to coordinate on high effort. Our findings suggest that this policy can serve as a way for an employer to facilitate improved coordination.
- C9 - Design of Experiments
- D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making