A Change Would Do You Good... An Experimental Study on How to Overcome Coordination Failure in Organizations
Many organizations suffer poor performance because individuals within the organization fail to coordinate on efficient patterns of behavior. Using controlled laboratory experiments, we study how financial incentives can be used to find a way out of such performance traps. Our experiments are set in a corporate environment where subjects' payoffs depend on coordinating at high effort levels; the underlying game being played repeatedly by employees is a weak-link game. In an initial phase, the benefits of coordination are low relative to the cost of increased effort. Play in this initial phase typically converges to an inefficient outcome with employees failing to coordinate at high effort levels. The experimental design then explores the effects of varying the financial incentives to coordinate at a higher effort level. We find that an increase in the benefits of coordination leads to improved coordination, but, surprisingly, large increases have no more impact than small increases. Once subjects have coordinated on a higher effort level, reductions in the financial incentives to coordinate have little effect on behavior. Hence, a "shock therapy" of temporary increases in incentives to coordinate can lead to permanent improvements in an organization's performance.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2004|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27, 08005 Barcelona|
Phone: +34 93 542-1222
Fax: +34 93 542-1223
Web page: http://www.barcelonagse.eu
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995.
"Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development,"
Economics Working Papers
142, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Ciccone, Antonio & Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1996. "Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 33-59, April.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1993. "Start-Up Costs and Pecuniary Externalities as Barriers to Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 4363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ciccone, A. & Matsuyama, K., 1993. "Start-Up Costs and Pecuniary Externalities as Barriers to Economic Development," Papers 533, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1993. "Start-up costs and pecuniary externalities as barriers to economic development," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 83, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Antonio Ciccone & Kiminori Matsuyama, 1992. "Start-up Costs and Pecuniary Externalities as Barriers to Economic Development," Discussion Papers 1031, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
- Camerer, Colin F. & Knez, Marc & Weber, Roberto A., 1996. "Timing and Virtual Observability in Ultimatum Bargaining and Weak Link Coordination Games," Working Papers 970, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2005. "Are Two Heads Better Than One? Team versus Individual Play in Signaling Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 477-509, June.
- Battalio, Raymond & Samuelson, Larry & Van Huyck, John, 2001. "Optimization Incentives and Coordination Failure in Laboratory Stag Hunt Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 749-764, May.
- McKelvey Richard D. & Palfrey Thomas R., 1995.
"Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games,"
Games and Economic Behavior,
Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 6-38, July.
- R. McKelvey & T. Palfrey, 2010. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Normal Form Games," Levine's Working Paper Archive 510, David K. Levine.
- McKelvey, Richard D. & Palfrey, Thomas R., 1994. "Quantal Response Equilibria For Normal Form Games," Working Papers 883, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Jacob K Goeree & Charles A Holt, 2004.
"Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
618897000000000900, David K. Levine.
- Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2001. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1402-1422, December.
- Jacob K. Goeree & Charles A. Holt, 2000. "Ten Little Treasures of Game Theory and Ten Intuitive Contradictions," Virginia Economics Online Papers 333, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
- Murphy, Kevin M. & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1989.
"Industrialization and the Big Push,"
3606235, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- David Cooper & John Kagel, 2008. "Learning and transfer in signaling games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 34(3), pages 415-439, March.
- Nick Feltovich, 2000. "Reinforcement-Based vs. Belief-Based Learning Models in Experimental Asymmetric-Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 605-642, May.
- Timothy C. Salmon, 2001. "An Evaluation of Econometric Models of Adaptive Learning," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1597-1628, November.
- J. B. Van Huyck & R. C. Battalio & R. O. Beil, 2010.
"Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
661465000000000393, David K. Levine.
- Van Huyck, John B & Battalio, Raymond C & Beil, Richard O, 1990. "Tacit Coordination Games, Strategic Uncertainty, and Coordination Failure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 234-248, March.
- John B Van Huyck & Raymond C Battalio & Richard O Beil, 1997. "Tacit coordination games, strategic uncertainty, and coordination failure," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1225, David K. Levine.
- John B. Van Huyck & Raymond C. Battalio & Richard O. Beil, 1991. "Strategic Uncertainty, Equilibrium Selection, and Coordination Failure in Average Opinion Games," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 885-910.
- Colin Camerer & Teck-Hua Ho, 1999. "Experience-weighted Attraction Learning in Normal Form Games," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 827-874, July.
- Cooper, David J. & Kagel, John H., 2003. "The impact of meaningful context on strategic play in signaling games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 311-337, March.
- Knez, Marc & Simester, Duncan, 2001. "Firm-Wide Incentives and Mutual Monitoring at Continental Airlines," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 743-772, October.
- Camerer, Colin F. & Ho, Teck-Hua & Chong, Juin-Kuan, 2002. "Sophisticated Experience-Weighted Attraction Learning and Strategic Teaching in Repeated Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 137-188, May.
- Crawford, Vincent P., 1991. "An "evolutionary" interpretation of Van Huyck, Battalio, and Beil's experimental results on coordination," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 25-59, February.
- Jordi Brandts & David Cooper, 2006. "Observability and overcoming coordination failure in organizations: An experimental study," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 9(4), pages 407-423, December.
- Anderson, Simon P. & Goeree, Jacob K. & Holt, Charles A., 2001. "Minimum-Effort Coordination Games: Stochastic Potential and Logit Equilibrium," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 177-199, February.
- Roberto A. Weber, 2006. "Managing Growth to Achieve Efficient Coordination in Large Groups," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 114-126, March.
- Jordi Brandts & David J. Cooper, 2004. "Observability and Overcoming Coordination Failure in Organizations," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 630.04, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Knez, Marc & Camerer, Colin, 2000. "Increasing Cooperation in Prisoner's Dilemmas by Establishing a Precedent of Efficiency in Coordination Games," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 194-216, July.
- Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:115. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bruno Guallar)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.