Beyond Transparency: Using Cognitive Dissonance to Improve the Promotions Process in Firms

43 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2021 Last revised: 25 Aug 2021

See all articles by Eddy Cardinaels

Eddy Cardinaels

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management; KU Leuven

Fabien Ize

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management

Date Written: July 27, 2021

Abstract

In this study, we investigate self-deception among managers in a position to make a biased promotion recommendation. In a tournament, managers promote their weaker employees instead of their best in order to compete against them at later stages. However, we find that when their promotion recommendations are transparent, generating cognitive dissonance in managers prompts them to amend their behavior. Managers’ behavior becomes fairer and yet, they tend to feel more unfair – confirming the effect of cognitive dissonance on self-deception. On the other hand, making managers’ promotion recommendations transparent alone does not sufficiently improve their behavior. Our findings have important implications for improving promotions processes and decision-making in organizations.

Keywords: Promotion, recommendation, transparency, cognitive dissonance, self-deception, and fairness.

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M51

Suggested Citation

Cardinaels, Eddy and Ize, Fabien, Beyond Transparency: Using Cognitive Dissonance to Improve the Promotions Process in Firms (July 27, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3754455 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3754455

Eddy Cardinaels

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 134668231 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/?uid=e.cardinaels

KU Leuven ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium
+32 16326984 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.kuleuven.be/wieiswie/nl/person/00013472

Fabien Ize (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Tilburg University School of Economics and Management ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
67
Abstract Views
313
rank
458,218
PlumX Metrics