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Legitimacy, Communication, and Leadership in the Turnaround Game

Author

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  • Jordi Brandts

    () (Institut d’Anàlisi Econòmica, 08193 Barcelona, Spain; and Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, 08005 Barcelona, Spain)

  • David J. Cooper

    () (Department of Economics, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306; and University of East Anglia, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom)

  • Roberto A. Weber

    () (Department of Economics, University of Zurich, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland)

Abstract

We study the effectiveness of leaders for inducing coordinated organizational change to a more efficient equilibrium, i.e., a turnaround. We compare communication from leaders to incentive increases and also compare the effectiveness of randomly selected and elected leaders. Although all interventions yield shifts to more efficient equilibria, communication from leaders has a greater effect than incentives. Moreover, leaders who are elected by followers are significantly better at improving their group’s outcome than randomly selected leaders. The improved effectiveness of elected leaders results from sending more performance-relevant messages. Our results are evidence that the way in which leaders are selected affects their legitimacy and the degree to which they influence followers. Finally, we observe that a combination of factors—specifically, incentive increases and communication from elected leaders—yields near-universal turnarounds to full efficiency. This paper was accepted by Uri Gneezy, behavioral economics .

Suggested Citation

  • Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper & Roberto A. Weber, 2015. "Legitimacy, Communication, and Leadership in the Turnaround Game," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(11), pages 2627-2645, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:61:y:2015:i:11:p:2627-2645
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.2021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan Potters & Martin Sefton & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Leading-by-example and signaling in voluntary contribution games: an experimental study," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 33(1), pages 169-182, October.
    2. Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2007. "It's What You Say, Not What You Pay: An Experimental Study of Manager–Employee Relationships in Overcoming Coordination Failure," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(6), pages 1223-1268, December.
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    5. M. Vittoria Levati & Matthias Sutter & Eline van der Heijden, 2007. "Leading by Example in a Public Goods Experiment with Heterogeneity and Incomplete Information," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 51(5), pages 793-818, October.
    6. Kocher, Martin G. & Pogrebna, Ganna & Sutter, Matthias, 2013. "Other-regarding preferences and management styles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 109-132.
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    8. Edward Cartwright & Joris Gillet & Mark Van Vugt, 2013. "Leadership By Example In The Weak-Link Game," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(4), pages 2028-2043, October.
    9. Ananish Chaudhuri & Tirnud Paichayontvijit, 2010. "Recommended play and performance bonuses in the minimum effort coordination game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 13(3), pages 346-363, September.
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    12. Levy, David M. & Padgitt, Kail & Peart, Sandra J. & Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte, 2011. "Leadership, cheap talk and really cheap talk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 40-52, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 101-121, June.
    2. Lu Dong & Maria Montero & Alex Possajennikov, 2018. "Communication, leadership and coordination failure," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 84(4), pages 557-584, June.
    3. Kriss, Peter H. & Blume, Andreas & Weber, Roberto A., 2016. "Coordination with decentralized costly communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 225-241.
    4. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:295-312 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2014. "Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty," Working Papers halshs-01095897, HAL.
    6. repec:gam:jgames:v:9:y:2018:i:3:p:42-:d:155312 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Markussen, Thomas & Tyran, Jean-Robert, 2017. "Choosing a public-spirited leader: An experimental investigation of political selection," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 204-218.
    8. Timko, Krisztina, 2017. "Gender, Communication Styles, and Leader Effectiveness," MPRA Paper 77021, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:173-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Oliver Kirchkamp & Wladislaw Mill, 2018. "Conditional Cooperation and the Effect of Punishment," CESifo Working Paper Series 7115, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Nobuyuki Hanaki & Nicolas Jacquemet & Stéphane Luchini & Adam Zylbersztejn, 2016. "Cognitive ability and the effect of strategic uncertainty," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 101-121, June.
    12. Drouvelis, Michalis & Nosenzo, Daniele & Sefton, Martin, 2017. "Team incentives and leadership," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 173-185.
    13. Timko, Krisztina, 2017. "Men and Women Are Equally Effective Leaders," MPRA Paper 77022, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Masiliūnas, Aidas, 2017. "Overcoming coordination failure in a critical mass game: Strategic motives and action disclosure," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 214-251.
    15. Jordi Brandts & Christina Rott & Carles Solà, 2016. "Not just like starting over - Leadership and revivification of cooperation in groups," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 792-818, December.
    16. repec:eee:jeborg:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:86-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:gamebe:v:107:y:2018:i:c:p:182-202 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    leadership; job selection; coordination failure; experiments; communication;

    JEL classification:

    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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