Sanctioning in the Wild: Rational Calculus and Retributive Instincts in Gourmet Cuisine

Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming

Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2551435

51 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2015

See all articles by Giada Di Stefano

Giada Di Stefano

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Andrew A. King

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Gianmario Verona

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology; SDA Bocconi

Date Written: January 18, 2015

Abstract

Why do we sanction norm violations? Despite near universal agreement on the role of sanctions for maintaining norms of cooperation, scholars hotly dispute whether individuals sanction based on a rational calculus or because of strong retributive instincts. In this paper we report on a mixed-method field study examining sanctioning behavior. Our goal is to extend theories of sanctioning by evaluating the conditions under which individuals are more likely to administer a sanction in response to a norm violation. To guide the development of our hypotheses, we engage in a qualitative examination of sanctioning decisions in the context of gourmet cuisine. We then test our predictions in a field experiment involving more than 500 gourmet chefs in Italy. Our results suggest that individuals follow retributive instincts, but they also engage in cost/benefit calculations. Indeed, we find that the two logics of sanctioning jointly influence participation in social exchange. Recognizing their own tendency to sanction at a cost, individuals avoid circumstances that could trigger the need for costly sanctions.

Keywords: Cooperation, sanctioning, reciprocity, retribution, field experiment, knowledge transfer

Suggested Citation

Di Stefano, Giada and King, Andrew A. and Verona, Gianmario, Sanctioning in the Wild: Rational Calculus and Retributive Instincts in Gourmet Cuisine (January 18, 2015). Academy of Management Journal, Forthcoming; Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 2551435. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2551435

Giada Di Stefano (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.unibocconi.eu/giadadistefano/

Andrew A. King

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Gianmario Verona

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

SDA Bocconi ( email )

Via Bocconi 8
Milan, Milan 20136
Italy

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