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The Confederacy of Heterogeneous Software Organizations and Heterogeneous Developers: Field Experimental Evidence on Sorting and Worker Effort

The Confederacy of Heterogeneous Software Organizations and Heterogeneous Developers: Field Experimental Evidence on Sorting and Worker Effort

Chapter:
(p.483) 10 The Confederacy of Heterogeneous Software Organizations and Heterogeneous Developers: Field Experimental Evidence on Sorting and Worker Effort
Source:
The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited
Author(s):
Kevin J. BoudreauKarim R. Lakhani
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226473062.003.0014

This chapter reports on an actual field experiment that tests for the influence of “sorting” on innovator effort. The focus is on the potential heterogeneity among innovators and whether they prefer a more cooperative versus competitive research environment. The focus of the field experiment is a real-world multiday software coding exercise in which participants are able to express a preference for being sorted into a cooperative or competitive environment—that is, incentives in the cooperative environment are team based, while those in the competitive environment are individualized and depend on relative performance. Half of the participants are indeed sorted on the basis of their preferences, while the other half are assigned to the two modes on a random basis.

Keywords:   confederacy, software organizations, field experiment

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