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Information Flow and Influence during Collective Search, Discussion, and Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Abele, Susanne

    () (Miami University, Department of Psychology)

  • Vaughan-Parsons, Sandra I.

    (Howard Community College, Columbia)

  • Stasser, Garold

    () (Miami University, Department of Psychology)

Abstract

If decision-relevant information is distributed among team members, the group is inclined to focus on shared information and to neglect unshared information, resulting often in suboptimal decisions. This classical finding is robust in experimental settings, in which the distribution of information is created artificially by an experimenter. The current paper looks at information sharing effects when access to information is not restricted, and decision makers are very familiar with the decision task. We analyzed archival search and discussion data obtained from business executives completing a personnel selection exercise. Information popularity in the population from which groups were composed predicted number of group members accessing items during information searches and whether the group discussed the items. The number of group members who accessed an item predicted whether information was repeated during discussion, and repetition predicted which items were included on an executive summary. Moreover, cognitively central group members were more influential than cognitively peripheral members. One implication is that collective decision making amplifies what is commonly known at the expense of disseminating what is not.

Suggested Citation

  • Abele, Susanne & Vaughan-Parsons, Sandra I. & Stasser, Garold, 2008. "Information Flow and Influence during Collective Search, Discussion, and Choice," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 08-38, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:08-38 Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Duersch, Peter & Oechssler, Jörg & Vadovic, Radovan, 2012. "Sick pay provision in experimental labor markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-19.
    2. Danilov, Vladimir & Koshevoy, Gleb & Murota, Kazuo, 2001. "Discrete convexity and equilibria in economies with indivisible goods and money," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 251-273, May.
    3. Bikhchandani, Sushil & Mamer, John W., 1997. "Competitive Equilibrium in an Exchange Economy with Indivisibilities," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 385-413, June.
    4. Kelso, Alexander S, Jr & Crawford, Vincent P, 1982. "Job Matching, Coalition Formation, and Gross Substitutes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1483-1504, November.
    5. Gul, Faruk & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1999. "Walrasian Equilibrium with Gross Substitutes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 95-124, July.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information Sharing; Cognitive Centrality; Group Decision Making; Collective Choice; Archival Data;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
    • L84 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Personal, Professional, and Business Services

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