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The good, the bad and the ugly thing to do when sharing information: Revealing, concealing and lying depend on social motivation, distribution and importance of information

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  • Steinel, Wolfgang
  • Utz, Sonja
  • Koning, Lukas

Abstract

Research on information sharing in group decision-making has widely assumed a cooperative context and focused on the exchange of shared or unshared information in the hidden profile paradigm ([Stasser and Titus, 1985] and [Stasser and Titus, 1987]), neglecting the role of information importance. We argue that information sharing is a mixed-motive conflict setting that gives rise to motivated strategic behavior. We introduce a research paradigm that combines aspects of the traditional information sampling paradigm with aspects of a public good dilemma: the information pooling game. In three experiments, we show that information sharing is strategic behavior that depends on people's pro-social or pro-self motivation, and that people consider information sharedness and information importance when deciding whether to reveal, withhold, or falsify their private or public information. Pro-social individuals were consistently found to honestly reveal their private and important information, while selfish individuals strategically concealed or even lied about their private and important information.

Suggested Citation

  • Steinel, Wolfgang & Utz, Sonja & Koning, Lukas, 2010. "The good, the bad and the ugly thing to do when sharing information: Revealing, concealing and lying depend on social motivation, distribution and importance of information," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 85-96, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:113:y:2010:i:2:p:85-96
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chen, Xiao-Ping & Au, Wing Tung & Komorita, S. S., 1996. "Sequential Choice in a Step-Level Public Goods Dilemma: The Effects of Criticality and Uncertainty," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 37-47, January.
    2. Boles, Terry L. & Croson, Rachel T. A. & Murnighan, J. Keith, 2000. "Deception and Retribution in Repeated Ultimatum Bargaining," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 235-259, November.
    3. Koning, Lukas & Dijk, Eric van & Beest, Ilja van & Steinel, Wolfgang, 2010. "An Instrumental Account of Deception and Reactions to Deceit in Bargaining," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 57-73, January.
    4. Mara Olekalns & Philip Smith, 2009. "Mutually Dependent: Power, Trust, Affect and the Use of Deception in Negotiation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 85(3), pages 347-365, March.
    5. De Cremer, David & Dijk, Eric van, 2009. "Paying for sanctions in social dilemmas: The effects of endowment asymmetry and accountability," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 109(1), pages 45-55, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chang, Jin Wook & Chow, Rosalind M. & Woolley, Anita W., 2017. "Effects of inter-group status on the pursuit of intra-group status," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 1-17.
    2. Beersma, Bianca & Homan, Astrid C. & Van Kleef, Gerben A. & De Dreu, Carsten K.W., 2013. "Outcome interdependence shapes the effects of prevention focus on team processes and performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 121(2), pages 194-203.
    3. Claudia Toma & Fabrizio Butera, 2015. "Cooperation versus Competition Effects on Information Sharing and Us in Group Decision Making," Working Papers CEB 15-016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Super, Janice Francis & Li, Pingshu & Ishqaidef, Ghadir & Guthrie, James P., 2016. "Group rewards, group composition and information sharing: A motivated information processing perspective," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 31-44.
    5. Koning, Lukas & Steinel, Wolfgang & Beest, Ilja van & Dijk, Eric van, 2011. "Power and deception in ultimatum bargaining," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 35-42, May.

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