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Journal Article

Leadership effectiveness and institutional frames


Hillenbrand,  Adrian
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;


Kube,  Sebastian
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Max Planck Society;

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Frackenpohl, G., Hillenbrand, A., & Kube, S. (2016). Leadership effectiveness and institutional frames. Experimental Economics, 19(4), 842-863.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-4B94-F
Leadership mechanisms provide a potential means to mitigate social dilemmas, but empirical evidence on the success of such mechanisms is mixed. In this paper, we explore the institutional frame as a relevant factor for the effectiveness of leadership. We compare subjects’ behavior in public-goods experiments that are either framed positively (give-some game) or negatively (take-some game). We observe that leader and follower decisions are sensitive to the institutional frame. Leaders contribute less in the take-some game, and the correlation between leaders’ and followers’ contribution is weaker in the take-some game. Additionally, using a strategy method to elicit followers’ reactions at the individual level, we find evidence for the malleability of followers’ revealed cooperation types. Taken together, the leadership institution is found to be less efficient in the take- than in the give-frame, both in games that are played only once and repeatedly.