Attitude Change in Arbitrarily Large Organizations
FEUNL Working Paper Series No. 579
49 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2013
Date Written: April 2013
The alignment of collective goals and individual behavior has been extensively studied by economists under a principal-agent framework. Two main solutions have been presented: explicit incentive contracts and monitoring. These solutions correspond to changes in the objective situation faced by individuals. However, an extensive literature in social psychology provides evidence that behavior is influenced, not only by situational constraints, but also by attitudes. Therefore, an important aspect of organization is to choose the structures and procedures that best contribute to the dissemination of the desired attitudes throughout the organization. This paper studies how the initial configuration of attitudes and the size of the organization affect the optimal organizational structure and the timing of information flows when the objective is to align the members' attitudes. We identify and characterize three factors that affect the optimal organizational structures and procedures and the degree of alignment of attitudes: (1) clustering effects; (2) member cross-influence effects; and (3) leader cross-influence effects.
Keywords: Organizational Structure, Timing of Information Flows, Attitude Change, Influence
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation