Are experienced managers experts at overcoming coordination failure?
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 managers messages to employees.
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