Cutthroat cooperation: Asymmetrical adaptation to changes in team reward structures

Michael D. Johnson, John R. Hollenbeck, Stephen E. Humphrey, Daniel R. Ilgen, Dustin Jundt, Christopher J. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations

Abstract

To examine social interdependence theory dynamically, we develop a theory of structural adaptation based on "asymmetric adaptability." We suggest that it is more difficult for teams to shift from competitive to cooperative reward structures than from cooperative to competitive structures. We show that teams that switch from competitive to cooperative reward structures demonstrate "cutthroat cooperation." In their performance, marked by lower team decision accuracy and higher speed, they resemble competitive teams more than cooperative teams. Information sharing, also lower for cutthroat cooperation teams than for other cooperative teams, partially mediates the relationship between reward structure and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-119
Number of pages17
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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