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Sabotage in Corporate Contests - An Experimental Analysis

Christine Harbring, Bernd Irlenbusch (), Matthias Krakel and Reinhard Selten

International Journal of the Economics of Business, 2007, vol. 14, issue 3, 367-392

Abstract: In corporate contests, employees compete for a prize. Ideally, contests induce employees to exert productive effort which increases their probability of winning. In many environments, however, employees can also improve their own ranking position by harming their colleagues. Such negative incentive effects of corporate contests are largely unexplored, which can partly be attributed to the fact that sabotaging behavior is almost unobservable in the field. In this study we analyze behavior in experimental contests with heterogeneous players who are able to mutually sabotage each other. We find that sabotaging behavior systematically varies with the composition of different types of contestants. Moreover, if the saboteur's identity is revealed sabotage decreases while retaliation motives prevail. Our results promise to be valuable when designing corporate contests.

Keywords: Bullying; Contest; Experiments; Sabotage; Tournament (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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DOI: 10.1080/13571510701597445

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