A structurational group decision-making perspective on the commons dilemma: results from an online public goods game

Andrew Pilny, Marshall Scott Poole, Ashley Reichelmann, Brennan Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To expand upon perspectives on the commons dilemma, we developed an online experiment grounded in David Seibold and colleagues’ structurational perspective on group decision-making. We created manipulations based on three modalities of structure: dense versus sparse networks (domination), collective versus individual identity (signification), and social sanction versus non-social sanction (legitimation). The results revealed that modalities of signification positively influence contribution rates when participants were communicated information meant to stimulate a collective identity. In contrast to our hypotheses, individuals contributed more in sparse, rather than dense network structures. For managers of public goods, our results suggest that communication that emphasizes common identity may be important for mobilizing collective action and that they should also pay special attention to communication overload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-428
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 8 2017

Keywords

  • Structuration
  • collective identity
  • group decision-making
  • networks
  • public goods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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