Role Effects in Coordination: Collaborators and Competitors Vary in Focal Point Choice and Outcomes Obtained in Coordination

42 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2012 Last revised: 23 Jul 2012

See all articles by Poonam Arora

Poonam Arora

Manhattan College

David Krantz

Columbia University

E. Tory Higgins

Columbia Business School - Management

Date Written: June 18, 2012

Abstract

Coordination problems can arise from previously established dyadic roles. In four studies, we examine the impact on the extent and outcomes of coordination (for problems with multiple Nash equilibria) from previously established competitor versus teammate relationships. Individuals randomly assigned to dyads played a game where earnings were either determined jointly (teammates) or the winner took all (competitors). Study 1 found that the role or teammate or competitor influences choice of focal points and expectations of the partner’s behavior: teammates are task-focused, while competitors are focused on the hierarchical difference. Study 2 extended these findings to situations where the payoffs present strategic focal points: teammates choose collective maximization while competitors continue to be focused on the inherent hierarchy in the relationship. In Study 3, communication raises coordination rates close to 100% but does not attenuate competitor focus on the relational hierarchy. Finally, in Study 4, the presence of an external threat and thus a super-ordinate goal motivates competitors to make more task-based choices, similar to teammates.

Suggested Citation

Arora, Poonam and Krantz, David and Higgins, E. Tory, Role Effects in Coordination: Collaborators and Competitors Vary in Focal Point Choice and Outcomes Obtained in Coordination (June 18, 2012). Intl. Association for Conflict Management, IACM 25th Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2086545 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2086545

Poonam Arora (Contact Author)

Manhattan College ( email )

Manhattan College Parkway
Riverdale, NY 10471
United States

David Krantz

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

E. Tory Higgins

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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