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Identity, Distribution Rules and Productivity in Heterogeneous Teams: An experiment

Helia Marreiros ()

No 2, Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) from Católica Porto Business School, Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Abstract: This paper examines experimentally the effects of social identity and communication on teams’ distributional rules and wealth creation. The context studied is team production with multiple resource owners of different skills. In these organizational settings, heterogeneity of skills might create a conflict between equity, equality and social welfare. The results of a two-stage experiment, where participants vote in the distributional rule in stage I and make their effort decisions in stage II, indicate that induced group identity prompts preferences for equality even at the expense of wealth creation. We find that compared to a setting where social interaction is absent, identity does not increase team productivity, but equalizes individual payoffs. These findings suggest that group identity triggers the wide spread use of equal sharing rules by heterogeneous teams, as it increases the team’s level of egalitarianism. This paper provides recommendations for organizational decisionmaking.

Keywords: Teams; Heterogeneous skills; Social identity; Communication; Voting; Distributional preferences; Experiments. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D31 D63 J33 M52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-exp
Date: 2019-02
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cap:wpaper:022019

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