Cooperation in a Company: A Large-Scale Experiment

59 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2020

See all articles by Marvin Deversi

Marvin Deversi

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics

Martin G. Kocher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance; University of Gothenburg - School of Business, Economics and Law; Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance

Christiane Schwieren

Heidelberg University

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

We analyze cooperation within a company setting in order to study the relationship between cooperative attitudes and financial as well as non-financial rewards. In total, 910 employees of a large software company participate in an incentivized online experiment. We observe high levels of cooperation and the typical conditional contribution patterns in a modified public goods game. When linking experiment and company record data, we observe that cooperative attitudes of employees do not pay off in terms of financial rewards within the company. Rather, cooperative employees receive non-financial benefits such as recognition or friendship as the main reward medium. In contrast to most studies in the experimental laboratory, sustained levels of cooperation in our company setting relate to non-financial values of cooperation rather than solely to financial incentives.

Keywords: cooperation, social dilemma, field experiment, company

JEL Classification: C930, D230, H410, J310, J320, M520

Suggested Citation

Deversi, Marvin and Kocher, Martin G. and Schwieren, Christiane, Cooperation in a Company: A Large-Scale Experiment (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8190, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3570293

Marvin Deversi (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Martin G. Kocher

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) - Department of Economics & Finance ( email )

Stumpergasse 56
A-1060 Vienna, A-1060
Austria

University of Gothenburg - School of Business, Economics and Law ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Goteborg, 40530
Sweden

Queensland University of Technology - School of Economics and Finance ( email )

GPO Box 2434
2 George Street
Brisbane, Queensland 4001
Australia

Christiane Schwieren

Heidelberg University ( email )

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