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Sanctioning Systems, Decision Frames, and Cooperation

Ann E. Tenbrunsel and David M. Messick
Administrative Science Quarterly
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 684-707
DOI: 10.2307/2667052
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2667052
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Sanctioning Systems, Decision Frames, and Cooperation
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Abstract

Three studies are used to examine how surveillance and sanctioning systems affect cooperative behavior in dilemma situations. The first two studies demonstrate that a weak sanctioning system results in less cooperation than no sanctioning system; furthermore, results from the second study suggest that sanctions affect the type of decision people perceive they are making, prompting them to see it as a business rather than an ethical decision. The results from these studies are used to develop a theoretical model that postulates that the relationship between sanctions and cooperation is due to both a signaling effect, in which sanctions influence the type of decision that is perceived to be made, and a processing effect, in which the decision processing, including whether or not the strength of the sanction is considered, depends on the decision frame evoked. A third study provides support for the processing-effect hypothesis.

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