“Rich Communication and Leader Transgression in the Laboratory Coordinated Resistance Game” by Vai-Lam Mui
Timothy N. Cason
Organizational and political leaders often engage in "divide-and-conquer" transgression, in which a leader extracts surplus from a victim and shares it with a beneficiary to gain the latter's support for his transgression. This paper studies whether computer-mediated free form communication (Rich Communication) between responders can coordinate their resistance towards divide-and-conquer transgression in the laboratory. We find that Rich Communication is more effective in deterring leader transgression than Restrictive Communication treatments that only allow the responders to send binary messages signaling intended actions. Beneficiaries indicate significantly more intended resistance in the Rich Communication treatment, which substantially improves coordinated resistance.