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The Impact of Beliefs on Effort in Telecommuting Teams

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  • E. Glenn Dutcher

    ()

  • Krista Jabs Saral

    ()

Abstract

The use of telecommuting policies remains controversial for many employers because of the perceived opportunity for shirking outside of the traditional workplace; a problem that is potentially exacerbated if employees work in teams. Using a controlled experiment, where individuals work in teams with varying numbers of telecommuters, we test how telecommuting affects the effort choice of workers. We .nd that differences in productivity within the team do not result from shirking by telecommuters; rather, changes in effort result from an individual.s belief about the productivity of their teammates. In line with stereotypes, a high proportion of both telecommuting and non-telecommuting participants believed their telecommuting partners were less productive. Consequently, lower expectations of partner productivity resulted in lower effort when individuals were partnered with telecommuters. Our results suggest that managers should actively engage in disseminating productivity in formation to their telecommuting team in order to avoid negative effects on productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Glenn Dutcher & Krista Jabs Saral, 2012. "The Impact of Beliefs on Effort in Telecommuting Teams," Working Papers 2012-22, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
  • Handle: RePEc:inn:wpaper:2012-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Bloom & James Liang & John Roberts & Zhichun Jenny Ying, 2015. "Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(1), pages 165-218.
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    3. Fischbacher, Urs & Gachter, Simon & Fehr, Ernst, 2001. "Are people conditionally cooperative? Evidence from a public goods experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 397-404, June.
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    5. Keser, Claudia & van Winden, Frans, 2000. " Conditional Cooperation and Voluntary Contributions to Public Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 23-39, March.
    6. Palfrey, Thomas R. & Wang, Stephanie W., 2009. "On eliciting beliefs in strategic games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 98-109, August.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Telecommuting; Team Production; Productivity; Economic Experiments;

    JEL classification:

    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General

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