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Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes

  • Effects of inter-group status on the pursuit of intra-group status
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Jin Wook Chang, Rosalind M. Chow, Anita W. Woolley

    This research examines how the status of one’s group influences intra-group behavior and collective outcomes. Two experiments provide evidence that, compared to members of low-status groups, members of high-status groups are more concerned about their intra-group standing, which in turn can increase both the likelihood of competitive and cooperative intra-group behavior. However, whether the desire for intra-group standing manifests via competitive versus cooperative behavior depends on the relevance of the task to the group’s inter-group standing. When the task is not clearly relevant to the group’s status, members of high-status groups are more likely to engage in competitive behavior out of a desire to manage their intra-group status, which, in turn, leads to less desirable collective outcomes. However, when the group’s status is at stake, members of high-status groups seek intra-group status via cooperative behavior, leading to better collective outcomes.





  • A helping hand is hard at work: Help-seekers’ underestimation of helpers’ effort
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Daniel A. Newark, Vanessa K. Bohns, Francis J. Flynn

    Whether people seek help depends on their estimations of both the likelihood and the value of getting it. Although past research has carefully examined how accurately help-seekers predict whether their help requests will be granted, it has failed to examine how accurately help-seekers predict the value of that help, should they receive it. In this paper, we focus on how accurately help-seekers predict a key determinant of help value, namely, helper effort. In four studies, we find that (a) helpers put more effort into helping than help-seekers expect (Studies 1–4); (b) people do not underestimate the effort others will expend in general, but rather only the effort others will expend helping them (Study 2); and (c) this underestimation of help effort stems from help-seekers’ failure to appreciate the discomfort—in particular, the guilt—that helpers would experience if they did not do enough to help (Studies 3 & 4).





  • Hierarchical rank and principled dissent: How holding higher rank suppresses objection to unethical practices
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Jessica A. Kennedy, Cameron Anderson

    When unethical practices occur in an organization, high-ranking individuals at the top of the hierarchy are expected to stop wrongdoing and redirect the organization to a more honorable path—this is, to engage in principled dissent. However, in three studies, we find that holding high-ranking positions makes people less likely to engage in principled dissent. Specifically, we find that high-ranking individuals identify more strongly with their organization or group, and therefore see its unethical practices as more ethical than do low-ranking individuals. High-ranking individuals thus engage less in principled dissent because they fail to see unethical practices as being wrong in the first place. Study 1 observed the relation between high-rank and principled dissent in an archival data set involving more than 11,000 employees. Studies 2 and 3 used experimental designs to establish the causal effect of rank and to show that identification is one key mechanism underlying it.





  • How beliefs about the self influence perceptions of negative feedback and subsequent effort and learning
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Matt Zingoni, Kris Byron

    Whether individuals believe that ability can change through effort (incremental theorists) or is fixed (entity theorists) influences self-regulation in achievement situations – especially in response to failure. Explaining why past studies have found mixed results, our findings from two experiments suggest that individuals’ theory of ability interacts with whether feedback compares their performance to others or to an absolute standard. Further, those who believe or were induced to believe that ability can change through effort found negative absolute feedback highly valuable and relatively unthreatening to their self-concept, which, in turn, was positively associated with effort and learning. In contrast, those who believe or were induced to believe that ability is fixed found themselves in a position of motivational conflict as they perceived negative comparative feedback as valuable but also highly threatening. Perhaps because threat is cognitively consuming, our results suggest that threat inhibited learning.





  • “Switching On” creativity: Task switching can increase creativity by reducing cognitive fixation
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Jackson G. Lu, Modupe Akinola, Malia F. Mason

    Whereas past research has focused on the downsides of task switching, the present research uncovers a potential upside: increased creativity. In two experiments, we show that task switching can enhance two principal forms of creativity—divergent thinking (Study 1) and convergent thinking (Study 2)—in part because temporarily setting a task aside reduces cognitive fixation. Participants who continually alternated back and forth between two creativity tasks outperformed both participants who switched between the tasks at their discretion and participants who attempted one task for the first half of the allotted time before switching to the other task for the second half. Importantly, Studies 3a–3d reveal that people overwhelmingly fail to adopt a continual-switch approach when incentivized to choose a task switching strategy that would maximize their creative performance. These findings provide insights into how individuals can “switch on” creativity when navigating multiple creative tasks.





  • Choosing one at a time? Presenting options simultaneously helps people make more optimal decisions than presenting options sequentially
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Shankha Basu, Krishna Savani

    This research examines an element of choice architecture that has received little attention—whether options are presented simultaneously or sequentially. Participants were more likely to choose dominating options when the options were presented simultaneously rather than sequentially, both when the dominance relationship was transparent (Experiment 1) and when it was not (Experiments 2–3). Depth of cognitive processing mediated the effect of option presentation on optimal choice (Experiment 4). Memory load was unlikely to be the underlying mechanism, as individual differences in working memory span did not predict optimal choice in the sequential condition (which places a greater memory load; Experiment 5), and manipulations of memory load did not reduce the benefits of simultaneous presentation (Experiments 6a–6c). Instead, participants’ working memory span predicted optimal choice in the simultaneous condition (which allows for more in-depth processing; Experiment 5), and a manipulation of processing load eliminated the benefits of simultaneous presentation (Experiment 7).





  • Spillover bias in diversity judgment
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): David P. Daniels, Margaret A. Neale, Lindred L. Greer

    Diversity research has long assumed that individuals’ perceptions of diversity are accurate, consistent with normative theories of judgments in economics and decision theory. We challenge this assumption. In six experiments, we show that when there is more diversity along one dimension (e.g., race, clothing color), people also perceive more diversity on other dimensions (e.g., gender, skill) even when this cannot reflect reality. This spillover bias in diversity judgment leads to predictable errors in decision making with economic incentives for accuracy, and it alters support for affirmative action policies in organizations. Spillover bias in diversity judgment may help explain why managerial decisions about groups often appear to be suboptimal and why diversity scholars have found inconsistent associations between objective diversity and team outcomes.





  • Creativity in unethical behavior attenuates condemnation and breeds social contagion when transgressions seem to create little harm
    Publication date: March 2017
    Source:Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 139

    Author(s): Scott S. Wiltermuth, Lynne C. Vincent, Francesca Gino

    Across six studies, people judged creative forms of unethical behavior to be less unethical than less creative forms of unethical behavior, particularly when the unethical behaviors imposed relatively little direct harm on victims. As a result of perceiving behaviors to be less unethical, people punished highly creative forms of unethical behavior less severely than they punished less-creative forms of unethical behavior. They were also more likely to emulate the behavior themselves. The findings contribute to theory by showing that perceptions of competence can positively color morality judgments, even when the competence displayed stems from committing an unethical act. The findings are the first to show that people are judged as morally better for performing bad deeds well as compared to performing bad deeds poorly. Moreover, the results illuminate how the characteristics of an unethical behavior can interact to influence the emulation and diffusion of that behavior.





http://rss.sciencedirect.com/publication/science/07495978

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