The Benefits of Deliberative Involvement in the Design of Incomplete Feedback Systems
Posted: 28 Mar 2021
Date Written: March 1, 2021
This study examines the benefits of employee involvement in feedback system design for cooperation. Understanding how to enhance cooperation is important given the increasing use of team settings in practice. Control systems often provide feedback on cooperative actions of coworkers, which can help enable cooperation in teams and between organizational units. We predict that involvement in the design of feedback systems can be a source of trust between employees and enhances cooperation. This is particularly important for dynamic environments, in which an incomplete feedback system which initially provides perfect signals of cooperation no longer does so after the environment changes. Adding to prior evidence, we find that an incomplete feedback system can benefit cooperation in a static environment, but the benefit is greater when employees were initially involved in its design. In a dynamic environment, an incomplete feedback system fails to facilitate cooperation unless employees were involved in its design. Our results identify a behavioral benefit for firms that grant decision rights to employees as part of their organizational architecture.
Keywords: cooperation, dynamic environments, feedback systems, involvement, trust
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