The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of two key team‐based pay characteristics – namely reward allocation procedures (i.e. reward based on norms of equity, equality or some combination of the two) and incentive intensity – on both the amount and type of help given to one another among members of outcome‐interdependent teams.
A total of 180 undergraduate students participate in a laboratory simulation with a 2 × 3 experimental design. Servicing virtual “clients,” participants receive pre‐scripted requests for assistance from anonymous teammates. ANOVA and hierarchical regression analyses are used to test the hypotheses.
Relative to equity‐oriented group‐based pay structures, equality‐oriented pay structures are found to be associated with both significantly more help giving in general and more of the type of help likely to enhance group‐level competencies (i.e. autonomous help). Incentive intensity strengthens the effects of reward allocation on the amount (but not the type) of help giving.
While the short time frame of the simulation poses a significant threat to external validity, the findings suggest that team‐based compensation practices may provide organizational leaders with an important tool by which to shape critical, helping‐related team processes, with potentially important implications for both team learning and performance.
Managers interested in promoting capacity‐building and helping among team members should avoid allocating team rewards strictly on the basis of the individual contribution.
This paper provides the first empirical findings regarding how alternative modes of team‐based reward distribution may influence key group processes among members of outcome interdependent teams.
Bamberger, P. and Levi, R. (2009), "Team‐based reward allocation structures and the helping behaviors of outcome‐interdependent team members", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 300-327. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940910952705Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited