Glad Tidings and Grave Warnings: The Role of Advice on Cooperation in Public Goods Dilemmas with Value Uncertainty

46 Pages Posted: 22 May 2010 Last revised: 19 Nov 2017

See all articles by Matthew W. McCarter

Matthew W. McCarter

University of Texas at San Antonio; Chapman University - Economic Science Institute

Bryan L. Bonner

University of Utah

Date Written: September 29, 2012

Abstract

We investigate how third-party advice on the estimated value of a public good acts as a dual-uncertainty reducing mechanism to encourage cooperation in a trust-social dilemma. Experiment 1 finds that the valence of an advisor’s estimate affects cooperation behavior and that this advice effect is mediated by the level of trust that an individual has in fellow group members. Experiment 2 finds that, when estimates about the value of the public good are mixed, trust in experts declines, and, as a result, trust in other group members also declines. Experiment 3 finds that mixed valence estimates do not affect cooperation behavior when the majority of advisors are in consensus. In merging the social dilemma and advice giving literatures, we show one way to navigate the dual-uncertainty problem when producing public goods and how independent, third-party advice can influence interpersonal relations among group members.

Suggested Citation

McCarter, Matthew W. and Bonner, Bryan L., Glad Tidings and Grave Warnings: The Role of Advice on Cooperation in Public Goods Dilemmas with Value Uncertainty (September 29, 2012). Organization and Management Journal, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1612838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1612838

Matthew W. McCarter (Contact Author)

University of Texas at San Antonio ( email )

One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
United States

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute ( email )

One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
United States

Bryan L. Bonner

University of Utah ( email )

1645 E. Campus Center
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States

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