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Team Governance: Empowerment or Hierarchical Control

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  • Friebel, Guido
  • Schnedler, Wendelin

Abstract

We investigate a team setting in which workers have different degrees of commitment to the outcome of their work. We show that if there are complementarities in production and if the team manager has some information about team members, interventions that the manager undertakes in order to assure certain efforts may have destructive effects: they can distort the way workers perceive their fellow workers and they may also lead to a reduction of effort by those workers that care most about output. Moreover, interventions may hinder the development of a cooperative organizational culture in which workers trust each other. Thus, our framework provides some first insights into the costs and benefits of interventions in teams. It identifies that team governance is driven by the importance of tasks that cannot be monitored. The more important these tasks, the more likely it is that teams are empowered.

Suggested Citation

  • Friebel, Guido & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2007. "Team Governance: Empowerment or Hierarchical Control," CEPR Discussion Papers 6575, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6575
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    1. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/6unm655ita9ojbuuc83c9h0is8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Wendelin Schnedler & Nina Lucia Stephan, 2020. "Revisiting a Remedy Against Chains of Unkindness," Schmalenbach Business Review, Springer;Schmalenbach-Gesellschaft, vol. 72(3), pages 347-364, July.
    3. Galbiati, Roberto & Schlag, Karl H. & van der Weele, Joël J., 2013. "Sanctions that signal: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 34-51.
    4. Grout, Paul & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2008. "Non-Profit Organizations in a Bureaucratic Environment," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-17, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
    5. Roberto Galbiati & Emeric Henry & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2019. "Learning to cooperate in the shadow of the law," Sciences Po publications 2019-06, Sciences Po.
    6. Wendelin Schnedler & Radovan Vadovic, 2011. "Legitimacy of Control," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 985-1009, December.
    7. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/6unm655ita9ojbuuc83c9h0is8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Beckmann, Michael & Cornelissen, Thomas & Kräkel, Matthias, 2017. "Self-managed working time and employee effort: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 285-302.
    9. Guido Friebel & Matthias Heinz & Miriam Krueger & Nikolay Zubanov, 2017. "Team Incentives and Performance: Evidence from a Retail Chain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2168-2203, August.
    10. Schnedler, Wendelin & Vanberg, Christoph, 2014. "Playing ‘hard to get’: An economic rationale for crowding out of intrinsically motivated behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 106-115.
    11. Roberto Galbiati & Emeric Henry & Nicolas Jacquemet, 2019. "Learning to cooperate in the shadow of the law," SciencePo Working papers halshs-02145486, HAL.
    12. Danilov, Anastasia & Sliwka, Dirk, 2013. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7477, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Danilov, Anastasia & Khalmetski, Kiryl & Sliwka, Dirk, 2021. "Descriptive Norms and Guilt Aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 293-311.
    14. von Siemens, Ferdinand A., 2013. "Intention-based reciprocity and the hidden costs of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 55-65.
    15. Cerrone Claudia & Manna Ester, 2018. "Pay for Performance with Motivated Employees," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 18(1), pages 1-8, January.
    16. Schnedler Wendelin, 2011. "You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For: Bonuses, Perceived Income and Effort," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-10, February.
    17. Marvin Deversi & Lisa Spantig, 2023. "Incentive and Signaling Effects of Bonus Payments: An Experiment in a Company," CESifo Working Paper Series 10302, CESifo.
    18. Herold, Florian, 2010. "Contractual incompleteness as a signal of trust," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 180-191, January.
    19. Galbiati, Roberto & Schlag, Karl H. & van der Weele, Joël J., 2013. "Sanctions that signal: An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 34-51.
    20. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/7o52iohb7k6srk09o0ks2e12i is not listed on IDEAS
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    23. Anastasia Danilov & Dirk Sliwka, 2017. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(2), pages 459-476, February.
    24. Kräkel, Matthias, 2018. "Empowerment and the Dark Side of Delegation," IZA Discussion Papers 11289, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incentives; Informed principal; Intrinsic motivation; Team work;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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