Organisational structure, communication and group ethics
Matthew Ellman () and
Paul Pezanis-Christou ()
No 290, Working Papers from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
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; communication; ethics; responsibility-alleviation and responsibility-dilution. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 C92 D21 D63 D64 D70 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Journal Article: Organizational Structure, Communication, and Group Ethics (2010)
Working Paper: Organisational structure, communication and group ethics (2007)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bge:wpaper:290
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