Cooperation in Diverse Teams: The Role of Temporary Group Membership

32 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2015

See all articles by Christian Grund

Christian Grund

RWTH Aachen University - School of Economics and Business Administration; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Christine Harbring

University of Cologne; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kirsten Thommes

RWTH Aachen University

Abstract

In organizations, some team members are assigned to a team for a predefined short period of time, e.g., as they have a temporary contract, while others are permanent members of the same team. In a laboratory experiment we analyze the cooperation levels resulting from diverse teams, where some team members remain with a team and others are switching teams. Our results reveal that teams consisting partly of members with temporary membership display a lower productivity compared to teams of permanent team members only. First, temporary team members cooperate less than permanent team members. Second, individual effort decisions increase with the number of team mates who are of the same type. This second effect holds for both temps and permanents. We argue that social identity is affected by team composition and the individuals' role in a team.

Keywords: cooperation, economic experiment, public good, team

JEL Classification: C9, M5

Suggested Citation

Grund, Christian and Harbring, Christine and Thommes, Kirsten, Cooperation in Diverse Teams: The Role of Temporary Group Membership. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8761. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2554909

Christian Grund (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University - School of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Aachen
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Christine Harbring

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany
+ 49 (0) 221 / 470 - 7955 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kirsten Thommes

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen, 52056
Germany

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