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Attribution biases in Leadership: Is it effort or luck ?

Nisvan Erkal (), Lata Gangadharan () and Boon Han Koh
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Lata Gangadharan: Department of Economics, Monash University, https://research.monash.edu/en/persons/lata-gangadharan

Department of Economics - Working Papers Series from The University of Melbourne

Abstract: Leaders often make decisions under risk and uncertainty. Using a controlled laboratory experiment motivated by a simple theoretical framework, we investigate group members' biases in the attribution of their leaders' outcomes in an environment where only outcomes are observable. We find that group members' expectations about the leader's type are shaped by the leadership appointment mechanism. Moreover, upon observing the outcomes of their leaders' decisions, members attribute good outcomes more to luck and place too little weight on their prior beliefs in their updating behavior. Importantly, we find that the biases tend to be driven by those subjects who choose low effort as leaders.

Keywords: Leadership; Decision-making under risk; Beliefs about others' actions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C92 D91 D81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-cdm and nep-exp
Date: 2018-08
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