Unintended Consequences of Cooperation Inducing and Maintaining Mechanisms in Public Goods Dilemmas: Sanctions and Moral Appeals

Chen, X P and Pillutla, M and Yao, X (2009) Unintended Consequences of Cooperation Inducing and Maintaining Mechanisms in Public Goods Dilemmas: Sanctions and Moral Appeals. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 12 (2). pp. 241-255. ISSN 1368-4302

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Abstract

Research suggests that contribution to public goods (i.e. cooperation) will increase when groups use sanctions. We argue that when groups use rewards and punishments to induce members to cooperate in a social dilemma, individuals' natural propensity to cooperate may be reduced. Results from two laboratory experiments provide consistent support for our hypothesis. Specifically, we found that cooperation (in groups that adopted sanctioning systems, including both reward and punishment) decreased significantly following the removal of sanctioning systems. We also found that a moral appeal to cooperate was as effective as sanctions in inducing cooperation. Moreover, cooperation induced through appeals was more likely to sustain than that induced through sanctions. We found that people's trust in others' cooperation mediated the relationship between the use of sanctions and appeals and the level of cooperation after these inducing practices were removed. Implications of these results are discussed in the group and organizational context.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
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ISB Creators
ORCiD
Pillutla, M
https://orcid.org/ 0000-0001-5529-5094
Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research article was published by the author with the affiliation of London Business School
Uncontrolled Keywords: Unintended Consequences, Public Good, Dilemmas, Sanctions, Moral Appeals
Subjects: Organization Behavior
Depositing User: Gurusrinivasan K
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2021 16:20
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2021 16:20
URI: https://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/1565
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430208098783
Publisher OA policy: https://v2.sherpa.ac.uk/id/publication/6758?template=romeo
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