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Productivity in Contests: Organizational Culture and Personality Effects

by Marieke Huysentruyt and Topi Miettinen (with O. Andersson, and U. Stephan), published in the Jena Economic Research Papers

We study the interaction of organizational culture and personal pro-social orientation in team work where teams compete against each other. In a computerized lab experiment with minimal group design, we assign subjects to two alternative subliminally primed organizational cultures emphasizing either self-enhancement or self-trancendence. We find that effort is highest in self-trancendent teams and prosocially oriented subjects perform better than proself-oriented under that culture. In any other value-culture-mechanism constellation, performance is worse and/or prosocials and proselves do not di¤er in provided effort. These findings point out the importance of a "triple-fit" of preferences, organizational culture and incentive mechanism.

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