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Sabotage in Corporate Contests - An Experimental Analysis

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Author Info

  • Christine Harbring
  • Bernd Irlenbusch
  • Matthias Krakel
  • Reinhard Selten

Abstract

In corporate contests, employees compete for a prize. Ideally, contests induce employees to exert productive effort which increases their probability of winning. In many environments, however, employees can also improve their own ranking position by harming their colleagues. Such negative incentive effects of corporate contests are largely unexplored, which can partly be attributed to the fact that sabotaging behavior is almost unobservable in the field. In this study we analyze behavior in experimental contests with heterogeneous players who are able to mutually sabotage each other. We find that sabotaging behavior systematically varies with the composition of different types of contestants. Moreover, if the saboteur's identity is revealed sabotage decreases while retaliation motives prevail. Our results promise to be valuable when designing corporate contests.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 14 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 367-392

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:14:y:2007:i:3:p:367-392

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Related research

Keywords: Bullying; Contest; Experiments; Sabotage; Tournament;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kräkel, Matthias & Nieken, Petra & Przemeck, Judith, 2008. "Risk Taking in Winner-Take-All Competition," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 233, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  2. Gürtler, Oliver & Harbring, Christine, 2007. "Feedback in Tournaments under Commitment Problems: Theory and Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 3111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Dato, Simon & Nieken, Petra, 2013. "Gender Differences in Competition and Sabotage," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79750, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  4. Gürtler, Oliver & Münster, Johannes, 2010. "Sabotage in dynamic tournaments," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 179-190, March.
  5. Roman M. Sheremeta, 2011. "Contest Design: An Experimental Investigation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 573-590, 04.
  6. Harbring, Christine & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2009. "Sabotage in Tournaments: Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Subhasish M. Chowdhury & Oliver Gurtler, 2013. "Sabotage in Contests: A Survey," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 051, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  8. Charness, Gary & Kuhn, Peter J., 2010. "Lab Labor: What Can Labor Economists Learn from the Lab?," IZA Discussion Papers 4941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Oliver Gürtler, 2010. "Collusion in homogeneous and heterogeneous tournaments," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 100(3), pages 265-280, July.
  10. Alasdair Brown & Subhasish M. Chowdhury, 2014. "The Hidden Perils of Affirmative Action: Sabotage in Handicap Contests," University of East Anglia Applied and Financial Economics Working Paper Series 062, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
  11. Matthias Kräkel, 2008. "Emotions and the optimality of uneven tournaments," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 61-79, March.
  12. Shakun D. Mago & Anya C. Savikhin & Roman M. Sheremeta, 2012. "Facing Your Opponents: Social identification and information feedback in contests," Working Papers 12-15, Chapman University, Economic Science Institute.

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