“Yes-Men in Tournaments
We study a rank-order tournament in which employees acquire and use private information for an investment decision. In this environment, competition for promotion can turn employees into "yes men" who make investment decisions that excessively agree with their supervisor's preconceived notions. Employees become "yes men" when their supervisor's prior opinion is strong and the parties receive little subsequent information. In response to this inefficiency, the firm may intensify the tournament's incentives (e.g., increase the wage raise from promotion), increase the correlation of employees' information (e.g., use tournaments for employees handling similar tasks), reduce the importance of any individual supervisor's prior opinion (e.g., evaluate employees using a committee), or use a different incentive mechanism altogether (e.g., individual contracts).
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