Here, Let Me Do It: Task Takeover Hurts Team Performance
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CitationVerrey, Jacob. 2019. Here, Let Me Do It: Task Takeover Hurts Team Performance. Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College.
AbstractTakeover dilemmas are situations in which one person can take over a task that is being performed by another person. For example, a project manager can take over and assume control of the marketing report when his subordinates are too slow. Despite their prevalence in everyday life, takeover dilemmas have never been studied before to the best of the author’s knowledge. To investigate takeover dilemmas, I first investigated whether taking over impairs a team’s performance, and then I attempted to answer why. Drawing from literature from various fields, I hypothesized that taking over may impair a team’s performance. This impairment is because people who take over must spend time climbing a steep learning curve before they reach the same skill level as the person they displaced (learning costs), and people who take over have to spend time assuming control (switching costs). To test this prediction, I devised an online maze task that allowed me to measure the performance of the same teams when they did and did not experience a takeover. Results support both hypotheses and show that people seem to underestimate both switching costs and learning costs, and therefore, when they take over, they make their team worse off. After discussing the real-world implication, this study proposes numerous routes to further investigate this new area of research.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41971553
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