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Organisational structure, communication and group ethics

Matthew Ellman () and Paul Pezanis-Christou ()

UFAE and IAE Working Papers from Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC)

Abstract: This paper investigates experimentally how organisational decision processes affect the moral motivations of actors inside a firm that must forego profits to reduce harming a third party. In a "vertical" treatment, one insider unilaterally sets the harm-reduction strategy; the other can only accept or quit. In a "horizontal" treatment, the insiders decide by consensus. Our 2-by-2 design also controls for communication effects. In our data, communication makes vertical firms more ethical; voice appears to mitigate "responsibility-alleviation" in that subordinates with voice feel responsible for what their firms do. Vertical firms are then more ethical than the horizontal firms for which our bargaining data reveal a dynamic form of responsibility-alleviation and our chat data indicate a strong "insider-outsider" effect.

Keywords: experimental economics; group decision-making; organisational structure (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D21 D63 D64 D70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45
Date: 2007-02-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-cbe and nep-soc
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Journal Article: Organizational Structure, Communication, and Group Ethics (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: Organisational structure, communication and group ethics (2007) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aub:autbar:682.07

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