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Are Experienced Managers Experts at Overcoming Coordination Failure?

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  • Cooper David J

    (Case Western Reserve University)

Abstract

This paper studies experiments set in a corporate environment where a manager attempts to overcome a history of coordination failure by employees using either financial incentives or communication. I compare the choices of subject managers drawn from a standard undergraduate population with subject managers drawn from the executive MBA (EMBA) program at Case's Weatherhead School of Management. The EMBA subjects are a group of experienced, successful managers; all of the EMBA subjects have at least ten years of work experience, including at least five years in a supervisory role, and have average annual earnings in excess of $120,000. The EMBA subject managers are able to overcome a history of coordination failure significantly faster than the undergraduate subject managers. This superior performance is driven neither by differences in the financial incentives offered to the employees nor by use of an inherently different communications strategy. Instead, EMBA subject managers are significantly more likely to use the same "good" communication strategy as is identified for undergraduate subject managers through systematic coding of manager's messages to employees.

Suggested Citation

  • Cooper David J, 2006. "Are Experienced Managers Experts at Overcoming Coordination Failure?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-52, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:advances.6:y:2006:i:2:n:6
    DOI: 10.2202/1538-0637.1479
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    1. Yoshio Kamijo & Hiroki Ozono & Kazumi Shimizu, 2016. "Overcoming coordination failure using a mechanism based on gradualism and endogeneity," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(1), pages 202-217, March.
    2. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch'ng Kean, 2008. "Managers and Students Playing Cournot: Experimental Evidence from Malaysia," Economics Working Papers 2008-19, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    3. List John A., 2007. "Field Experiments: A Bridge between Lab and Naturally Occurring Data," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(2), pages 1-47, April.
    4. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch'ng Kean, 2010. "Pre-play communication in Cournot competition: An experiment with students and managers," Economics Working Papers 2010-09, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    5. Ahn, T.K. & Ostrom, Elinor & Walker, James, 2011. "Reprint of: A common-pool resource experiment with postgraduate subjects from 41 countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1580-1589, July.
    6. Depositario, Dinah Pura T. & Nayga Jr., Rodolfo M. & Wu, Ximing & Laude, Tiffany P., 2009. "Should students be used as subjects in experimental auctions?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 122-124, February.
    7. Håkan J. Holm & Victor Nee & Sonja Opper, 2020. "Strategic decisions: behavioral differences between CEOs and others," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 23(1), pages 154-180, March.
    8. Stefania Bortolotti & Giovanna Devetag & Andreas Ortmann, 2009. "Exploring the effects of real effort in a weak-link experiment," CEEL Working Papers 0901, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    9. Waichman, Israel & Requate, Till & Siang, Ch’ng Kean, 2014. "Communication in Cournot competition: An experimental study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 1-16.
    10. Yoshio Kamijo & Hiroki Ozono & Kazumi Shimizu, 2014. "A Mechanism That Overcomes Coordination Failure Based on Gradualism, Endogeneity, and Modification," Working Papers 1401, Waseda University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics.
    11. Matt Marx & Bram Timmermans, 2017. "Hiring Molecules, Not Atoms: Comobility and Wages," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(6), pages 1115-1133, December.
    12. Ahn, T.K. & Ostrom, Elinor & Walker, James, 2010. "A common-pool resource experiment with postgraduate subjects from 41 countries," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2624-2633, October.
    13. Yoshio Kamijo & Hiroki Ozono & Kazumi Shimizu, 2015. "A mechanism overcoming coordination failure based on gradualism and endogeneity," Working Papers SDES-2015-11, Kochi University of Technology, School of Economics and Management, revised Jan 2015.

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