Effort and Performance: What Distinguishes Interacting and Non-Interacting Groups from Individuals?

39 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2011 Last revised: 8 May 2014

See all articles by Tibor Besedes

Tibor Besedes

Georgia Institute of Technology

Cary A. Deck

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies

Sarah Marx Quintanar

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Sudipta Sarangi

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Mikhael Shor

University of Connecticut Department of Economics

Date Written: March 10, 2014

Abstract

We study how group membership affects behavior both when group members can and cannot interact with each other. Our goal is to isolate the contrasting forces that spring from group membership: a free-riding incentive leading to reduced effort and a sense of social responsibility that increases effort. In an environment with varying task difficulty and individual decision making as the benchmark, we show that the free-riding effect is stronger. Group members significantly reduce their effort in situations where they share the outcome but are unable to communicate. When group members share outcomes and can interact, they outperform groups without communication and individuals. We show that these groups do as well as the best constituent member would have done on her own.

Keywords: group behavior, decision making, free-riding, experiments

JEL Classification: C92, D71, Z13

Suggested Citation

Besedes, Tibor and Deck, Cary A. and Quintanar, Sarah Marx and Sarangi, Sudipta and Shor, Mikhael, Effort and Performance: What Distinguishes Interacting and Non-Interacting Groups from Individuals? (March 10, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1824524 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1824524

Tibor Besedes (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

221 Bobby Dodd Way
Atlanta, GA 30332-0615
United States

Cary A. Deck

University of Alabama - Department of Economics, Finance and Legal Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 870244
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Sarah Marx Quintanar

University of Arkansas at Little Rock ( email )

Little Rock, AR 72201
United States

Sudipta Sarangi

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ( email )

250 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Mikhael Shor

University of Connecticut Department of Economics ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1063
Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.mikeshor.com/

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