The Role of the Decision-Making Regime on Cooperation in a Workgroup Social Dilemma: An Examination of Cyberloafing
A burgeoning problem facing organizations is the loss of workgroup productivity due to cyberloafing. The current paper examines how changes in the decision-making rights about what workgroup members can do on the job affect cyberloafing and subsequent work productivity. We compare two different types of decision-making regimes: autocratic decision-making and group voting. Using a laboratory experiment to simulate a data-entry organization, we find that, while autocratic decision-making and group voting regimes both curtail cyberloafing (by over 50%), it is only in group voting that there is a substantive improvement (of 38%) in a cyberloafer’s subsequent work performance. Unlike autocratic decision-making, group voting leads to workgroups outperforming the control condition where cyberloafing could not be stopped. Additionally, only in the group voting regime did production levels of cyberloafers and non-loafers converge over time.