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Leadership in Teams: Signaling or Reciprocating ?

Claude Meidinger and Marie Claire Villeval ()
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Claude Meidinger: TEAM - Théories et Applications en Microéconomie et Macroéconomie - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) from HAL

Abstract: How does leadership work in teams? In this paper, leadership is grounded on both the possession of a private information by the leader and by her ability to communicate credibly with followers in order to induce them to expand high efforts. This paper reports an experiment testing the efficiency of two costly communication devices introduced by Hermalin (1998): leading-by-example and leading-by-sacrifice. In leading-by-example, the leader's effort is observable by the follower. Experimental evidence shows that leadership works more through reciprocity than through signaling. In leading-by-sacrifice, the leader can give up a part of her payoff. Experimental evidence indicates that this sacrifice works as a truthful signaling device when it is lost for the follower but not when it is transferred to him.

Keywords: experimental economics; leadership; reciprocity; signaling; work teams; économie expérimentale; équipes de travail; réciprocité; signal (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002-12
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Published in 2002

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