Sabotages in Promotion Tournaments
26 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2003
The paper studies the nature, determinants, and impacts of "negative" activities in organizations. In competing for promotion, the members in organizations can work not only to enhance their own performances, but also to "sabotage" their opponents' performances. They find it worthwhile to engage in negative activities because promotion is based on relative, rather than absolute, performance, and its nature is winner-take-all. We find that abler members are subject to more attacks. Consequently, not only is there double inefficiency in effort, but also members of highest caliber do not necessarily have the best chance of promotion. Finally, we discuss several institutional designs that might help to reduce the influence of negative activities.
Keywords: promotion, tournament, relative performance, sabotage
JEL Classification: J2, J3, J4, D2, D8
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation