Leader Effects in Competition Among Teams: Evidence from a Field Intervention

52 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2016 Last revised: 10 Feb 2021

See all articles by Pablo Casas-Arce

Pablo Casas-Arce

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business

Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez

University of Notre Dame - Department of Accountancy; Cornell University

Date Written: January 29, 2021

Abstract

This paper investigates the factors that make teams successful in competitive environments. In collaboration with a medium-sized Latin-American bank, we designed a series of contests among the branches of the bank, in which we varied the prize structure of the tournaments (in some tournaments, the prizes were shared among all branch employees, while in other tournaments there was an additional prize for the branch manager). We also surveyed the branch managers and employees prior to our intervention to measure the team characteristics and the leadership style of the managers, and we evaluate the pictures that teams post on the intranet to measure their creativity and desire to have fun. We find that more creative and less jovial teams, as well as teams with a manager that encourages teamwork, perform better in the tournament. However, the effects are reversed when the tournament awards a prize to the branch manager. The results are consistent with leadership prizes encouraging managers to monitor employees more closely, but at the same time, hampering their efforts to build team spirit.

Keywords: Tournaments, Teams, Leadership, Culture

JEL Classification: M41, M52, D86, J33

Suggested Citation

Casas-Arce, Pablo and Martinez-Jerez, Francisco de Asis, Leader Effects in Competition Among Teams: Evidence from a Field Intervention (January 29, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2824108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2824108

Pablo Casas-Arce (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - W.P. Carey School of Business ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3706
United States

Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez

University of Notre Dame - Department of Accountancy ( email )

Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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