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Are experienced managers experts at overcoming coordination failure?

  • David Cooper
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    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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    Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Artefactual Field Experiments with number 00037.

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    Date of creation: 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00037
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

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    1. 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.
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    7. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
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    9. Tanga McDaniel & E. Rutström, 2001. "Decision Making Costs and Problem Solving Performance," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 145-161, October.
    10. Paul Slovic & Sarah Lichtenstein, 1973. "Response-induced reversals of preference in gambling: An extended replication in las vegas," Framed Field Experiments 00169, The Field Experiments Website.
    11. Potters, J.J.M. & van Winden, F.A.A.M., 2000. "Professionals and students in a lobbying experiment - Professional rules of conduct and subject surrogacy," Other publications TiSEM 964c6542-3994-4088-a7e6-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    12. R. Lynn Hannan & John H. Kagel & Donald V. Moser, 2002. "Partial Gift Exchange in an Experimental Labor Market: Impact of Subject Population Differences, Productivity Differences, and Effort Requests on Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 923-951, October.
    13. 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.
    14. Foss, Nicolai J, 2001. "Leadership, Beliefs and Coordination: An Explorative Discussion," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 357-88, June.
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