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Motivating teammates: The leader's choice between positive and negative incentives

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Author Info

  • Gürerk, Özgür
  • Irlenbusch, Bernd
  • Rockenbach, Bettina

Abstract

Team leaders often provide incentives for cooperation. A challenging question is how different incentive schemes and their actual choice by the leader shape the team's culture and contribute to the team's success. To shed light on this issue we investigate how a leader chooses between rewards or punishment in an experimental team setting and how teammates' contributions are influenced by this choice. Leaders show a clear initial preference for rewards, which diminishes over time in some teams. Leaders who observe more free-riders in their teams tend to switch to punishment incentives. A change from rewards to negative incentives results in an immediate and enduring increase in contributions. On the other hand, contributions show a decreasing trend in teams with a leader who sticks to rewards.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 30 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 591-607

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:30:y:2009:i:4:p:591-607

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

Related research

Keywords: Leadership Teams Personnel economics Organisational behaviour;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Róbert F. Veszteg & Erita Narhetali, 2010. "Public-good games and the Balinese," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 660-675, September.
  2. Choi, Jung-Kyoo & Ahn, T.K., 2013. "Strategic reward and altruistic punishment support cooperation in a public goods game experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 17-30.
  3. Daniele Nosenzo & Theo Offerman & Martin Sefton & Ailko van der Veen, 2014. "Discretionary Sanctions and Rewards in the Repeated Inspection Game," Discussion Papers 2014-04, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  4. Karina Gose & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2013. "Strike, coordination, and dismissal in uniform wage settings," FEMM Working Papers 130008, Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Faculty of Economics and Management.
  5. Cappelen, Alexander W. & Reme, Bjørn-Atle & Sørensen, Erik Ø. & Tungodden, Bertil, 2014. "Leadership and incentives," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 2/2014, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  6. Marcela Ibanez & Elke Schaffland, 2013. "The Effect of Outside Leaders on the Performance of the Organization: An Experiment," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 149, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  7. Christoph Engel & Bernd Irlenbusch, 2010. "Turning the Lab into Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. The Effect of Punishment on Offenders and Non-Offenders," Working Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2010_06, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
  8. Emrah Arbak & Marie-Claire Villeval, 2013. "Voluntary leadership: motivation and influence," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 635-662, March.

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