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The Impact of Beliefs on Effort in Telecommuting Teams

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  • E. Glenn Dutcher

    ()

  • Krista Jabs Saral

    ()

Abstract

The use of telecommuting policies remains controversial for many employers because of the perceived opportunity for shirking outside of the traditional workplace; a problem that is potentially exacerbated if employees work in teams. Using a controlled experiment, where individuals work in teams with varying numbers of telecommuters, we test how telecommuting affects the effort choice of workers. We .nd that differences in productivity within the team do not result from shirking by telecommuters; rather, changes in effort result from an individual.s belief about the productivity of their teammates. In line with stereotypes, a high proportion of both telecommuting and non-telecommuting participants believed their telecommuting partners were less productive. Consequently, lower expectations of partner productivity resulted in lower effort when individuals were partnered with telecommuters. Our results suggest that managers should actively engage in disseminating productivity in formation to their telecommuting team in order to avoid negative effects on productivity.

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File URL: http://eeecon.uibk.ac.at/wopec2/repec/inn/wpaper/2012-22.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck in its series Working Papers with number 2012-22.

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Length: 31
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2012-22

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Keywords: Telecommuting; Team Production; Productivity; Economic Experiments;

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  1. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  2. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
  3. Mokhtarian, Patricia L. & Salomon, Ilan, 1997. "Modeling the Desire to Telecommute: The Importance of Attitudinal Factors in Behavioral Models," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt29z267km, University of California Transportation Center.
  4. Claudia Keser & Frans A.A.M. van Winden, 2000. "Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-011/1, Tinbergen Institute.
  5. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2008. "Forecasting Risk Attitudes: An Experimental Study Using Actual and Forecast Gamble Choices," Development Research Unit Working Paper Series archive-01, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  6. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Wang, Stephanie W., 2009. "On eliciting beliefs in strategic games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 98-109, August.
  7. Peter Kuhn & Marie Claire Villeval, 2011. "Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment?," Post-Print halshs-00633646, HAL.
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