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dc.contributor.author
Deréky, Anna
dc.contributor.supervisor
Brusoni, Stefano
dc.contributor.supervisor
Gambardella, Alfonso
dc.contributor.supervisor
Hare, Todd
dc.contributor.supervisor
Laureiro-Martinez, Daniella
dc.date.accessioned
2020-04-17T13:20:53Z
dc.date.available
2020-04-17T12:57:52Z
dc.date.available
2020-04-17T13:20:53Z
dc.date.issued
2019-12
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11850/410442
dc.identifier.doi
10.3929/ethz-b-000410442
dc.description.abstract
Strategic decisions require commitment of substantial resources towards a goal, and often involve tradeoffs. Analysis of tradeoffs is fundamental to the fields of strategy, economics and neuroscience where it has been noted that strategic decisions involve competing notions of gain. Individuals take account of both economic profit (e.g. monetary gain) and material payoffs to other individuals or to societal wellbeing more generally. Prosocial behavior is an important social preference to consider when trying to balance profit maximizing behavior with social motives. This thesis investigates the role of prosocial behavior in strategic decisions where the decision-maker faces a tradeoff between economic profit and societal gain. In the three essays that constitute this thesis we examine whether and how prosocial behavior considerations influence strategic decisions. Paper 1 investigates how individuals’ contracting behavior changes if the organization has a prosocial mission. The paper studies contracting in a setting where agents can be motivated by both the prosocial mission of their job and social preferences towards the principal. We find that mission motivation has a debiasing role in that the efficiency of wages and effort is increased. We show that agents exhibit social preferences which if correctly predicted by principals will lead to higher levels of efficiency even in a one- shot setting with no reputation effects. These findings add to our understanding of non- monetary incentives and contribute to work on social preferences. Our findings related to the influence of social preferences on contracting decisions raise new questions about belief formation in prosocial contexts. Paper 2 examines how decisions based on description versus experience, alter prosocial preferences at the behavioral and neurobiological levels. These represent different ways of learning about the value of an alternative. We find that description and experience decisions can lead the same individual to express different prosocial preferences. The behavioral and neuroimaging data indicate that description decisions are based on relative payoffs (i.e. value differences between options), while choices based on experience are driven primarily by chosen outcomes rather than one set of payoffs relative to another. This suggests that the different social preferences revealed by decisions in each condition result from the fact that value information is processed differently in description versus experience choices. These findings have some potentially important implications for how corporations and universities train future business leaders. Training programs that emphasize theory and conceptual discussion may have a limited impact compared to training which allows acquisition of direct knowledge about the outcomes of decisions. Experiential learning programs could lead the decision maker to considering both the business and the societal dimensions of a decision. Paper 3 explores the individual level mechanism for prioritizing tradeoffs with both an economic and a societal dimension. We replicate paper 2 with a sample of experienced managers, and evaluate under which conditions for-profit managerial experience or individual values such as the level of prosociality predict economic and social choices. The findings demonstrate that for-profit managerial experience does not predict business profit maximizing choices. However, we observe that individual values such as the level of prosociality are the main predictor of business maximizing choices. Additionally, we show how the level of prosociality can be shaped by how individuals learn about the value of an alternative. If managers process information in a more automatic way, on the basis of learnt task specific patterns, they make less business maximizing choices compared to choices based on the deliberate analysis of all available information. These results add to our understanding of how the specific task-experience leading to automated decisions as opposed to general managerial experience plays an important role: Experiencing the choice options in a specific task might be a powerful way to make business managers consider not only economic but also societal outcomes. For example, making them experience their contribution to society with participation in task relevant volunteering or pro-bono programs. Overall, the thesis contributes to the interdisciplinary field of decision making through three essays that present a behaviorally plausible explanation of how prosociality shapes strategic decisions. The thesis shows how prosociality can change contracting behavior, how prosociality can be shaped depending on how information is processed by the individual and how managerial experience interacts with prosociality to predict social choices. It provides consistent knowledge related to the basis of cooperation among individuals.
en_US
dc.format
application/pdf
en_US
dc.language.iso
en
en_US
dc.publisher
ETH Zurich
en_US
dc.subject
Decisions from experience
en_US
dc.subject
learning
en_US
dc.subject
socio-economic tradeoff
en_US
dc.subject
prosocial behavior
en_US
dc.subject
fMRI
en_US
dc.subject
managerial experience
en_US
dc.subject
description decisions
en_US
dc.subject
Efficiency wage
en_US
dc.subject
motivated agents
en_US
dc.subject
Social preferences
en_US
dc.title
Three essays on prosociality in strategic decisions
en_US
dc.type
Doctoral Thesis
dc.date.published
2020-04-17
ethz.size
204 p.
en_US
ethz.code.ddc
DDC - DDC::3 - Social sciences::300 - Social sciences
en_US
ethz.code.ddc
DDC - DDC::6 - Technology, medicine and applied sciences::650 - Management & auxiliary services
en_US
ethz.code.jel
JEL - JEL::D - Microeconomics::D0 - General::D01 - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
en_US
ethz.code.jel
JEL - JEL::O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth::O3 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
en_US
ethz.identifier.diss
26160
en_US
ethz.publication.place
Zurich
en_US
ethz.publication.status
published
en_US
ethz.leitzahl
ETH Zürich::00002 - ETH Zürich::00012 - Lehre und Forschung::00007 - Departemente::02120 - Dep. Management, Technologie und Ökon. / Dep. of Management, Technology, and Ec.::03905 - Brusoni, Stefano / Brusoni, Stefano
en_US
ethz.date.deposited
2020-04-17T12:58:01Z
ethz.source
FORM
ethz.eth
yes
en_US
ethz.availability
Embargoed
en_US
ethz.date.embargoend
2023-04-17
ethz.rosetta.installDate
2020-04-17T13:21:03Z
ethz.rosetta.lastUpdated
2021-02-15T10:19:57Z
ethz.rosetta.versionExported
true
ethz.COinS
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