Mutual Monitoring and Team Member Communication in Teams

Arnold, Markus Christopher; Hannan, R. Lynn; Tafkov, Ivo D. (August 2016). Mutual Monitoring and Team Member Communication in Teams (Submitted) The Accounting Review

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Prior research suggests that team member communication based on mutual monitoring can improve team performance by enabling the manager to more closely relate individual team members’ contributions to their rewards. Given that diverse work settings affect the ability of team members to observe each other, this study investigates whether the benefit firms can extract from such communication is affected by differences in the type of information available to team members. Specifically, we investigate whether team members’ observations of each other’s effort, output, or both effort and output levels affect the usefulness of team member communication and, thus, team performance. Consistent with our predictions, our experimental study finds that team performance is higher when team members can observe only each other’s effort level than when they can observe both each other’s effort and output levels; however, team performance is lower when team members can observe only each other’s output levels than when they can observe both each other’s effort and output levels. The intuition behind these results is that the type of observable information creates different degrees of ambiguity regarding fair rewards for team members’ contributions, and thus, the usefulness of the communication to the manager in relating individual team member contributions to their rewards. Results of our study contribute to both theory and practice by enhancing our understanding of the role of team member communication based on mutual monitoring in motivating effort in teams, and particularly, how its efficacy is affected by the type of information available to team members prior to communication.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute for Accounting and Controlling > Controlling

UniBE Contributor:

Arnold, Markus Christopher

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations

Publisher:

The Accounting Review

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alexandra Neuenschwander

Date Deposited:

17 Sep 2018 15:09

Last Modified:

17 Sep 2018 15:09

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.119500

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/119500

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