Team Member Subjective Communication in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Teams

Arnold, Markus C.; Hannan, R. Lynn; Tafkov, Ivo D. (2018). Team Member Subjective Communication in Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Teams. The Accounting Review, 93(5), pp. 1-22. American Accounting Association 10.2308/accr-52002

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This study investigates whether subjective communication from team members to a manager responsible for allocating performance-based bonuses increases team performance and whether the efficacy of such communication is reduced in heterogeneous teams. We draw on both economic and behavioral theories to predict that communication content, even though subjective, provides information that enables the manager to allocate bonuses so as to enhance the relation between individuals’ contributions and rewards, thereby increasing individuals’ effort and team performance. However, we also predict that the positive effect of team member subjective communication is more muted when team members’ abilities are heterogeneous compared to homogeneous. We test these predictions via an experiment. Consistent with our predictions, team member subjective communication has a positive effect on team performance, and the positive effect is more muted for heterogeneous teams. Results of our study contribute to both theory and practice by enhancing our understanding of the role of subjective communication from team members to team managers in motivating effort in teams and, particularly, how its efficacy is affected by team composition.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Arnold, Markus Christopher


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




American Accounting Association




Alexandra Neuenschwander

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2019 15:49

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:25

Publisher DOI:



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