This paper addresses a notable gap at the intersection of organizational economics and organization science: how does organizational context influence aggregation of individual behavior in organizational decisions? Using basic centralized versus decentralized organizational structures as building blocks for our experimental design, we examine whether assignment of organizational positions, incentive schemes, and structural configuration induce endogenous adaptation in the form of change in reservation levels (bias) or modified discrimination capability in subjects' behavior. We found that evaluators adapted their reservation and discrimination levels in centralized structures, whereas they did not generally adapt their reservation and discrimination levels when placed in decentralized structures. We identify mechanisms that explain these findings; explain how they influence aggregate, organizational behavior; and discuss implications for research and practice.

Context and Aggregation: An Experimental Study of Bias and Discrimination in Organizational Decisions

Warglien, Massimo
2021

Abstract

This paper addresses a notable gap at the intersection of organizational economics and organization science: how does organizational context influence aggregation of individual behavior in organizational decisions? Using basic centralized versus decentralized organizational structures as building blocks for our experimental design, we examine whether assignment of organizational positions, incentive schemes, and structural configuration induce endogenous adaptation in the form of change in reservation levels (bias) or modified discrimination capability in subjects' behavior. We found that evaluators adapted their reservation and discrimination levels in centralized structures, whereas they did not generally adapt their reservation and discrimination levels when placed in decentralized structures. We identify mechanisms that explain these findings; explain how they influence aggregate, organizational behavior; and discuss implications for research and practice.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3748349
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