Symbols, Group Identity and the Hold-up Problem (2011)
Type of ContentDiscussion / Working Papers
PublisherCollege of Business and Economics, University of Canterbury
University of Canterbury. Department of Economics and Finance
Groups, companies, and organizations identify themselves via symbols. Symbols have the potential to create group identity and at the same time create group boundaries, thus allowing for achieving the benefits of cooperation by ingroup members. We use a laboratory experiment to study the role of group identity, created by the use of symbols, in mitigating the hold-up problem. As a team symbol we employ color t-shirts. We find that the usage of t-shirts itself does not create a strong enough group identity to mitigate the hold-up problem. However, in our previous research, we found that group identity created by t-shirts and a group chat aimed to help team members to solve a task is capable of resolving the hold-up problem. These findings are consistent with the everyday practice where organizations often make significant investments in team-building and socialization activities, suggesting that an important objective of such activities might be to strengthen group identity so that it is effective even in highly strategic environments.
CitationMorita, H., Servátka, M. (2011) Symbols, Group Identity and the Hold-up Problem. Department of Economics and Finance. 19pp..
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Keywordsaltruism; experiment; group identity; hold-up problem; other-regarding preferences; relation-specific investment; symbols; team membership
ANZSRC Fields of Research35 - Commerce, management, tourism and services::3507 - Strategy, management and organisational behaviour::350710 - Organisational behaviour
17 - Psychology and Cognitive Sciences::1701 - Psychology::170107 - Industrial and Organisational Psychology
35 - Commerce, management, tourism and services::3502 - Banking, finance and investment::350208 - Investment and risk management
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