From Self-To-Other-Centric: The Impact of Team (Dis)Satisfaction and Psychological Safety on Performance Evaluation Biases
28 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2013 Last revised: 7 Nov 2013
Date Written: September 23, 2013
Research on self-serving bias in teams has focused on bias after team feedback. Many teams, however, work for extended periods of time before receiving feedback. This paper proposes that team members exhibit biases prior to receiving feedback, depending on the level of team satisfaction. The results of a field study of 35 MBA teams demonstrate that members of unsatisfied teams make more self-serving claims about contribution toward the team’s task, while the most highly satisfied teams demonstrate an "other-centric" bias -- assigning more credit to other team members than to themselves. Both biases -- self-serving and other-serving -- are eliminated in teams with strong psychological safety norms.
Keywords: self-serving bias, ego-centric bias, teams, psychological safety
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