Authority versus Persuasion
AbstractThis paper studies a principal's trade-off between using persuasion versus using interpersonal authority to get the agent to 'do the right thing' from the principal's perspective (when the principal and agent openly disagree on the right course of action). It shows that persuasion and authority are complements at low levels of effectiveness but substitutes at high levels. Furthermore, the principal will rely more on persuasion when agent motivation is more important for the execution of the project, when the agent has strong intrinsic or extrinsic incentives, and, for a wide range of settings, when the principal is more confident about the right course of action.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 09-085.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-01-31 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2009-01-31 (Business Economics)
- NEP-CBE-2009-01-31 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CTA-2009-01-31 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-PPM-2009-01-31 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
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