What Do You Recommend? The Effects of Communication on Misreporting in Autonomous Teams

47 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2022 Last revised: 3 Jan 2023

See all articles by Anna Ressi

Anna Ressi

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Daniel Schaupp

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Victor van Pelt

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Date Written: October 10, 2022

Abstract

In autonomous teams, formal decision-making responsibility is shared, paving the way for communication to play a prominent role. We conduct three experimental studies to examine how members of autonomous teams use communication to influence cost reporting decisions. The first and second experimental studies illustrate that communication among team members is critical in driving team misreporting. Both reveal statistical evidence that communication can facilitate a dishonesty shift, where honest team members do not discipline dishonest team members, but the latter infects the former instead. In our third experimental study, in which adverse monetary consequences of misreporting are more salient, we find no statistical evidence of the dishonesty shift. Jointly, the findings of all three experimental studies suggest that communication can adversely affect misreporting in autonomous teams, which hinges on the salience of different situational cues.

Keywords: Misreporting, teams, communication, honesty, budgetary slack

JEL Classification: C92, D91, M41, M51

Suggested Citation

Ressi, Anna and Schaupp, Daniel and van Pelt, Victor, What Do You Recommend? The Effects of Communication on Misreporting in Autonomous Teams (October 10, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3937303 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3937303

Anna Ressi

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Daniel Schaupp

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Victor Van Pelt (Contact Author)

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

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