Patronizing behavior in heterogeneous teams: A laboratory experiment

Victor Klockmann & Alicia von Schenk, 2023, Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, [published online: December, 2023]

Collaboration among group members in organizations is highly prevalent and often encouraged. Yet, inefficient task assignment and patronizing may weaken the self-regulated learning process of an inexperienced group member. In a laboratory experiment, we exogenously vary the environment in which cooperative, heterogeneous groups interact. First, we introduce a time budget for task completion that is shared by both team members, and second, asymmetric information about the inexperienced group member’s scope for learning. Our results show that patronizing increases significantly with higher uncertainty and perceived time pressure, decreases team performance in the long run, and correlates with time and risk preferences.