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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2013, Vol. 45 Issue (4) : 453-465     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00453
The Influence of Leader on Group Member’s Cooperation in Common Resource Dilemmas
ZHANG Zheming;JIN Shenghua;WU Song;ZHOU Xiang
(1School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (3AVIC International Trade & Economic Development Ltd. Beijing 100101, China) (4 PICC Life Insurance Company Limited, Beijing 100037, China)
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Abstract  In past leadership research using common resource dilemmas, most researchers have studied the behavior of participants who identified as the leader. Individuals labeled “leaders” tended to harvest more common resources and impede the implementation of the public interest (De Cremer, 2003; De Cremer & Van Dijk, 2005; Van Dijk & De Cremer, 2006). Less is known, however, about the effects of establishing a leader on the behavior of the participants. If the betrayal of the leader could stimulate the self-restraint behavior of the group members, then the establishing a leader might promote the realization of the public interest. Three experiments were used to examine the impact of a leader’s behavior on the group member’s decision making. Experiments 1 manipulated the presence or absence of a leader and tested how the different behavior of a leader or common group member would influence the group member’s decision. Participants showed more self-restraint behavior when a leader showed the betrayal than when a common group member showed the betrayal. The participants also found the leader’s betrayal fairer, and regarded the leader as out-group member. Experiment 1 didn’t find the explanatory differences between Equity Theory and Social Identity Theory. Experiment 2 was conducted to evaluate the group member’s reaction to appointed and elected leaders. Participants showed more self-restraint behavior when an appointed leader showed the betrayal than when an elected leader did so. The participants also found the betrayal of the elected leader fairer, and regarded the appointed leader as out-group member. Experiment 2 confirmed the explanatory power of Social Identity Theory. Experiment 3 tested the impact of the betrayal of the in-group and out-group elected leader to the group member, in order to examine the Social Identity Theory. Participants showed more self-restraint behavior when out-group elected leader showed the betrayal. In contrast, when the in-group elected leader showed the betrayal, participants did not show self-restraint behavior. The results from all three experiments supported the hypotheses and suggested implications for organization management. Elected leaders should display justice and try to avoid the pursuit of personal interest. Leaders also should keep distance from their subordinates in some circumstances. Future research on leadership using the social dilemmas could evaluate the effects of personal variables.
Keywords common resource dilemmas      leader      elected      appointed     
Corresponding Authors: JIN Shenghua   
Issue Date: 25 April 2013
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ZHANG Zheming
JIN Shenghua
WU Song
ZHOU Xiang
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ZHANG Zheming,JIN Shenghua,WU Song, et al. The Influence of Leader on Group Member’s Cooperation in Common Resource Dilemmas[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2013, 45(4): 453-465.
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