Rewarding Those Hardly Working More Than Those Working Hard: How Misallocating Equitable Team-Based Rewards in Interdependent Tasks Can Create a Barrier to Retaining Higher-Performing Team Members



Shore, Daniel B

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This study examined one possible barrier to the effectiveness of equitable team-based rewards (i.e. rewards allocated according to each team member's individual contribution) that can especially occur with interdependent tasks, where it may be difficult to measure individual contributions: reward misallocation, such that higher performers are rewarded less than lower performers. The impact of three individual differences as moderators— equity sensitivity, exchange ideology, and agreeableness—was also examined. Results from a sample of 122 undergraduate students, each paired with a confederate teammate (who was always the lower performer), indicated that misallocation did not negatively impact individual performance or helping behaviors on a subsequent task. Misallocation, did however, reduce the intention to continue working with the teammate on future tasks. Lastly, moderating effects of the individual differences were not found.



Rewards, Team, Fairness, Justice, Equitable, Independent