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Leadership, Beliefs and Coordination: An Explorative Discussion

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  • Foss, Nicolai J

Abstract

Although recent economics contributions represent important strides forward in the understanding of leadership behavior, the cognitive and symbolic dimensions of the phenomenon have attracted virtually no interest from economists and game theorists. I argue that an understanding of these dimensions may be founded on coordination games, particularly to the extent that these illustrate interactive belief formation. In this context leadership is defined as the taking of actions that coordinate the complementary actions of many people through the creation of belief conditions that substitute for common knowledge and where these actions characteristically consists of some act of communication directed at those being led. The concept of common knowledge (or its approximation by means of notions of common belief) is argued to be particularly important to understanding leadership. Thus, leaders may establish common knowledge conditions, and assist the coordination of strategies in this way, or make decisions in situations where coordination problems persist in spite of common knowledge. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial & Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 357-88

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:10:y:2001:i:2:p:357-88

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Cited by:
  1. U. Witt, 2005. "Firms as Realizations of Entrepreneurial Visions," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  2. David Cooper, 2006. "Are experienced managers experts at overcoming coordination failure?," Artefactual Field Experiments 00037, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Guth, Werner & Levati, M. Vittoria & Sutter, Matthias & van der Heijden, Eline, 2007. "Leading by example with and without exclusion power in voluntary contribution experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 1023-1042, June.
  4. Lazzarini, Sergio G., 2002. "The Performance Implications of Membership in Competing Firm Constellations: Evidence from the Global Airline Industry," Insper Working Papers wpe_23, Insper Working Paper, Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa.
  5. Giovanna d’Adda, 2012. "Leadership and influence: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment on local public good provision," ECON - Working Papers 059, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2005. "It's What You Say Not What You Pay," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 643.05, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  7. Werner Güth & M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2004. "Leadership and cooperation in public goods experiments," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
  8. Paul Muller, 2006. "Reputation, trust and the dynamics of leadership in communities of practice," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 381-400, November.
  9. d'Adda, Giovanna, 2011. "Social Status and Influence: Evidence from an Artefactual Field Experiment on Local Public Good Provision," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 22, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
  10. Duffy, John & Kim, Minseong, 2005. "Anarchy in the laboratory (and the role of the state)," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 297-329, March.
  11. Philip J. Grossman & Mana Komai & James E. Jensen, 2012. "Leadership and Gender in Groups: An Experiment," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series 42-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  12. Jirjahn, Uwe & Kraft, Kornelius, 2008. "Teamwork and Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion among Blue-Collar Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 3291, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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