Counterintuitive Research Result of the Day

12 February 2011 at 11:10 am 11 comments

| Peter Klein |

According to the current issue of Managerial and Decision Economics, women free ride more than men:

An Experimental Test of Behavior under Team Production
Donald Vandegrift and Abdullah Yavas

This study reports experiments that examine behavior under team production and a piece rate. In the experiments, participants complete a forecasting task and are rewarded based on the accuracy of their forecasts. In the piece-rate condition, participants are paid based on their own performance, whereas the team-production condition rewards participants based on the average performance of the team. Overall, there is no statistically significant difference in performance between the conditions. However, this result masks important differences in the behavior of men and women across the conditions. Men in the team-production condition increase their performance relative to men in the piece-rate condition. However, this gap in male performances across conditions diminishes over the course of the experiment. In contrast, women in the team-production condition show significantly lower performance than the women in the piece rate. As a consequence of these differences, men in the team-production condition show significantly better performance than women in the team-production condition. We also find evidence that men show stronger performance when they are in teams with a larger variation in skill level.

I’m trying to derive implications for firm performance in light of Alchian and Demsetz (1972). But come on, give me the Go-Gos or Bangles over Backstreet Boys or Jonas Brothers any day.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Management Theory, Recommended Reading, Theory of the Firm.

Anita McGahan at TEDx New Insight from Old Data

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. k  |  12 February 2011 at 11:52 am

    The Beatles and Rolling Stones ?
    Bangles or Heart are one of a kind.
    Counterintuitive? Any woman in charge can tell you that women resent her more than men

  • 2. srp  |  12 February 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Notice how the Bangles and the Go-Gos broke up despite the obvious unique team synergies they possessed. The Backstreet Boys simply sucked.

  • 3. Michael E. Marotta  |  13 February 2011 at 7:58 pm

    Yes, Prof. Klein, I must apologize for being thick, but why is the result “counterintuitive”?

    I understand the men, being one: a hunting pack explains that.

    But women are smarter than men. So, does their social loafing contradict that? Or is social loafing the more intelligent choice?

  • 4. Michael E. Marotta  |  13 February 2011 at 8:02 pm

    <b< k: "Any woman in charge can tell you that women resent her more than men

    Do you mean that they resent her more than men resent her; or do you mean than they resent her more than they resent men?

    Offhand, either or both might be true. Do you have any statistical data, or just a bulk of anecdotal reports?

  • 5. David Gerard  |  14 February 2011 at 3:43 pm

    On the topic of team production, are women also more likely to fire their grocers?

  • 6. k  |  14 February 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Anecdotical evidence by my boss ( a woman). And many women in responsibility positions

  • 7. Troy Camplin  |  15 February 2011 at 4:27 pm

    A few things spring to mind.

    Men compete even when they cooperate. Thus, in a group, they will compete to come up with the best idea. Further, when men compete, they tend to do so in a friendly manner — especially with those in their group. Male bonding includes this competition-cooperation duality at work — a paradox that, like all paradoxes, generates complexity and growth.

    Women seek to undermine each other in subtle ways. They compete in a different way, one reflective of the way women compete for men. If one woman can subtly undermine another woman, the second will not have the confidence to take what belongs to the first. These dynamics enter into team production.

    It is less productive to compete to undermine than it is to compete to cooperate. It’s not politically correct to say, but those are the dynamics.

  • 8. Jayce  |  15 February 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Counterintuitive? Hah hah hahahahahahahaha.

  • 9. Dick Langlois  |  16 February 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Congratulations to Don — who was one of my first Ph.D.advisees — on an interesting paper and a nice placement.

  • 10. Roundup 17 Feb at Catallaxy Files  |  16 February 2011 at 5:31 pm

    […] are not team players? Listed as a counterintuitive research result of the day at Organizations and Markets. On a related […]

  • 11. k  |  2 March 2011 at 5:13 pm
    Not only junk anecdotes

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