The Psychology of Cooperation
Implications for Public Policy
Shafir, E. (Ed.). (2013). The behavioral foundations of public policy. Princeton University Press.
 p. 79-88
Note only, please refer source
Social Motivations
A contrasting type of motivation is social. This section will identity, measure, and show the importance of five types of social motivations. Those social motivations are attitudes, values, identity, procedural justice, and motive-based trust. In reviewing these social motivations, the general goal is to demonstrate the benefits of moving beyond using only material self-interest to motivate cooperation.

Attitudes: Commitment Iintrinsic Motivation
Attitudes are internal predispositions-part belief, part feeling-that motivate people to engage in actions that are personally fulfilling by approaching those objects, activities, or events toward which they have favorable beliefs and positive feelings, and to avoid those about which their orient-ation is negative (Brief, 1998). Attitudes reflect the behaviors that people want to engage in, whereas values reflect those actions that they feel they ought to engage in. Both attitudes and values are long-term predispositions that shape behavior in a manner that is distinct from the influence of the benefits and COStsassociated with immediate environments. The concept of attitudes has a long history within social psychology (McGuire, 1969). As would be expected given both that long history and the breadth of the study of attitudes, there are many variations in how attitudes are defined and studied.
Here attitudes will be thought of as general predispositions for or against a group or activity, predispositions that are acquired over time and expressed across situations (Brief, 1998).

Social Values
A second body of literature concerns social values. Values reflect people's feelings of obligation and responsibility to others. One example of an obligation-based judgment is the assessment of the legitimacy of a set of rules or authorities. Legitimacy has been shown to be a predictor of rule-following behavior in both communities (Tyler, 2006b; Tyler and Huo, 2002) and work organizations (Tyler, 2005; Tyler and Blader, 2005; Tyler, Callahan, and Frost, 2007).
Obligation is often studied in the context of rule fol-lowing, but people can also be motivated by their feel- ings of obligation to perform well on the job, as well as to be loyal to their firm. A second form of obligation is the people's feel-ings of obligation to their own moral values-their desire to do what they feel is right. A large psycholog-ical Literature argues that the motivation to act in ac-cord with their values about what is morally right and wrong is an important human motivation (see Darley and Alter, this volume; Tyler and Darley, 2000).

Another arena within which instrumental and so-cial motivations can be contrasted is the general re-lationship between people and organizations. Social psychology has long asked the question, What links people to groups, organizations, and communities?
This question can be answered by reference
(Q peo-ple's desire to create and maintain a favorable identic)' and a positive sense of self Theories linked to identity argue that organizations serve the social function of providing people with an identity, which they draw at least in part from the organizations to which they belong (Tyler and Blader, 2000). That argument can be made based upon group-based social identity or emotional identification. Emotional identifications are links to other people whose nature shapes people's identities.
The argument that groups serve a role
in defin- ing and evaluating one's identity, and thereby shap-ing one's sense of self, is a key suggestion of models of social identification (Hogg and Abrams, ]988). A second group of identity-based literature concerns emotional identification. Since the pioneering work of Kelman on persuasion and attitude change (Kelman, 1958,1961), it has been recognized that emotional ties to others provide an important input into identity (Kelman, 2006; Kelman and Hamilton, 1989).

Procedural Justice
An additional social motivation can be drawn from the literature on justice (Tyler, 2000). There are two key forms of justice: distributive and procedural. Distributive justice refers to the fairness of outcomes, while procedural justice reflects the justice of the procedures through which outcomes are distributed and decisions made. I The justice literature suggests that people's procedural justice judgments are relational (i.e., social) in narure and are Linked to their social connections to others (Trier, 1994, 2000; Tyler, Degoey, and Smith, 1996). Hence, the influence of pro-cedural justice upon cooper-ation is an instance of the impact of social motivation.

Motive-Based Trust
FinaJly, the literature on trust suggests that people are more willing to cooperate with others whom they trust (Kramer, 1999; Kramer and Tyler, 1996; Tyler and Huo, 2002). One type of trust, motive-based trust, is linked to inferences about the character of the other. This form of trust is also linked to relationships to others and is a social motive.?
What Leads a Motivation to Be a Social Motivation?
This chapter characterizes the additional motivations described-attitudes, values, identity, procedural jus-tice, and motive-based trust-as social motivations, to distinguish them from instrumental motivations.
As bas been noted, instrumental motivations reflect people's desire to gain material resources and to avoid material losses. Social motives, as discussed by psy-chologists, differ in that they are motivations that flow from within the person.
There are four ways to distinguish between instrumental and social motivations. The first is by the con-tent of the concerns that people express within each domain. Instrumental concerns focus on the poten-tial for material gains and the possibility of material losses. Such gains and losses involve gains in terms of rewards and losses in terms of costs or punishments.
In contrast, social motivations are linked to gains and losses of a nonmaterial nature. Such gains and losses are linked to such issues as personal identity and con-sistency with ethical and moral values.
Second, indicators of social motivations are empirically distincr from indicators of material gain or loss.
For example, in the literature on social justice, it has been found that people distinguish between receiviog a favorable outcome and receiving
fair treatment (Trier et al., 1996). Hence, judgments about justice arc distinct from the favorabiliry of one's outcomes. This c1istinction is clear in the literature on distributive justice, a literature in which rhe fairness of out-comes is distinguished from their desirability (Walsrer, Walsrer, and Berscheid, 1978). It is even clearer in the literature on procedural justice, which focuses on the fairness of the procedures by which allocation decisions are made (Lind and Tyler, 1988). Ifpeople sim- ply viewed a favorable outcome as fair, for example, social motivations would not be distinct from material judgments. However, rhis is not the case.
Third, social motivations have a distinct influence on cooperative behavior. Again, the justice literature finds that the degree to which people are willing to accept an outcome from an authority is linked, first, to the favorabiliry of that outcome.
In addition, however, people are more willing to accept an outcome that they evaluate as being fair and fairly arrived at. Hence, the outcome fairness of judgments exercises an independent influence upon outcome acceptance behavior that cannot be explained by outcome favorability. Similarly, procedural fairness has a distinct influence on acceptance behavior.
Fourth, social motivations produce consistent behavior across situations and over time. If, for example, someone feels an obligation to obey rules, their behavior should consistently reflect higher levels of cooperation across settings that vary
in their reward and cost characteristics. Furthermore, they should show the same consistency of behavior in the same situation across time. This does not mean that situational forces will not influence behavior, but it will be possible to see constancies in behavior that are not Linked to those forces.
The best way to understand the value of this larger motivational framework is to consider it within the context of a particular
type of socially important behavior, so I will focus on the motivation of cooperative behavior. Cooperation is valuable for groups, and securing cooperation has been the focus of social science research across a variety of fields, including both ceonomics and psychology (see Tyler, in press-b, for a review). Hence, the question of how to motivate people to cooperate is a key concern within public policy.

Why Does the Strategy of Motivation Matter?
While a discussion of the factors that motivate people can seem abstract, the \vay this question is answered has important public policy implications. Consider the arena of regulation. The United States is currently committed to a costly strategy of trying to reduce crime by deploying legal authorities to create a credible risk of being caught and punished for rule breaking, coupled with a large prison system to punish those who are caught. In fact, our society is a leader in the world in the proportion of its population that is in prison, creating a massive expenditure of resources. Yet, this costly strategy is based upon very little compelling evidence either that it works or that it is the best possible strategy. $0, a wide variety of social policies, ranging from policing strategy to sentencing practices and correctional and rehabilitative models are linked to underlying assumptions about what works in the area of motivation. And, as I win show below, considerable evidence exists to suggest that the current motivational models are badly off track (Tyler and Rankin, in press-a).
Although regulation is the most striking example of the issue of model misspecification, even in work organizations in which people can be both incentivized and sanctioned, rewards and punishments are not found to be a particularly effective motivator of work performance, particularly when performance involves creative or innovative problem-solving behavior. Incentives work best for routinized tasks, whereas work environments in the United States are increasingly white-collar jobs requiring creativity and innovation. Hence, in the broad arena of work organizations there is a similar misspecification of motivational models. This has widespread policy implications. For example, the reaction to corporate scandals has been to focus upon shifting incentives rather than upon building values of honesty and integrity. This instinctive policy resort to instrumental mechanisms seems widespread within the business world, but I win argue it is oversimplistic at best and misguided at worst. If the focus were shifted to social motivations, we would become concerned with building strong organizational cultures that emphasize values and identity. In other words, as with regulation, many of our reactions to public policy issues are shaped by our models of motivations, models that are often based more strongly upon assumptions than upon empirical facts.

Comparing Motivational Strategies Empirically
Regulatory Settings

The first setting in which I consider the antecedents of cooperation is a community setting in which authorities are seeking help from community members. In this study the authorities involved are the police and the help being sought is voluntary cooperation of two types: support for police efforts to deal with crime and a willingness to work with the police to manage social order in the community. I refer to this setting as regulatory because it focuses upon efforts to enforce legal regulations against criminal behavior.
However, my concern here goes beyond simply securing compliance with the law. I am concerned with gaining the active voluntary cooperation of community residents to fight crime.

The study in question was a panel study in which New Yorkers were interviewed over the telephone at two different times (for details see Sunshine and Tyler, 2003; Tyler and Fagan, 2008). The time-one sample consisted of 1,653 interviews with residents of New York City. The sample was drawn from a stratified random sample of telephone numbers in the city, with an overrepresentarion of non-White residents designed to produce a high proportion of Hispanic and African American respondents. Approximately one year following the first interview, attempts were made to recontact and reinterview all of the respondents. A subset of 830 of those originally interviewed was successfully reinterviewcd. A comparison of those reinrerviewcd with the original sample indicated no significant differences in ethnicity, gender, age, income, or education. Both the sampling and questionnaire details can be found in Trier (in press-b).


Cooperation involved voluntary efforts to help the police. It was assessed by asking respondents whether, if the situation arose, they would be likely to call the police to report a crime; help the police to lind someone suspected of a crime; report dangerous or suspicious activity; volunteer time to help the police; patrol the streets as part of an organized group; or volunteer to attend community meetings to discuss crime.

Five social motivations were measured: attitudes about the Law;values (i.c., the legitimacy of the police and law and the congruence of law with moral values); identification with the police; the procedural justice of the behavior of the police (overall quality of decision making and quality of treatment); and motive-based  trust.


Instrumental and social judgments were found to be related (r - 0.26). Those members of the community who believed that the police were instrumentally effective also expressed greater social motivations for cooperating with (hem. Structural equation modeling was used (0 examine the influence of instrumental and social factors in shaping cooperation. That analysis included separate analyses for the wave-one sample and for the panel sample. Because of the community context and the ethnic diversity of the sample, demographic variables were included in this analysis.'
The results for the wave-one cross-sectional analysis, shown in Table 4.1, suggest that both instrumental and social factors play an important role in shaping cooperation. There were strong influences of social motivations (beta - 0.25,
P < .001); demographics (beta = 0.17, P < .001); and instrumental motivations (beta ~ 0.17, P < .001). Interestingly, when controls were placed upon prior cooperation in a panel analysis, only social motivations continued to show an independent influence (beta. 0.11, p < .01). The panel results suggest that social motivation remains irnportam with a more sensitive panel design, while the influence of instrumental variables disappears.
Table 4.1 Motivation in a community setting

Voluntary cooperation

Time two
Time one factors
Instrumental motivations
Social motivations
Adjusted explained variance



The results of this study reveal that there is a generally high level of willingness to cooperate with the police. For example, the mean willingness to report crimes [0 the police in the panel sample was 3.57 on a scale of I (nor likely at all) to 4 (very likely), while the mean for working with people in the community was 2.79 on the same scale (see Tyler and Fagan, 2008). In other words, there was generally considerable willingness to help the police, something that can be built upon in efforts to manage crime and social order in both majority and minority communities.
The issue is how to engage this potential cooperation. A report from the National Academy of Sciences noted the paradox that while the police had improved their objective performance in recent decades and crime rates had declined, public trust and confidence in the police had not improved appreciably, especially in the minority community (Skogan and Frydl, 2004). The report recommended a focus on social motivations that create or undermine trust and argued that attention
to social motivations would enhance both trust and public cooperation. That argument is supported by a number of studies of policing (for an overview, see Tyler, in press-b).
Factors Shaping Cooperation in Work Settings The second setting I will consider involves employees in for-profit work settings. Again, a key issue is cooperation within the organization.


Four forms of cooperation were distinguished: in-role behavior-that is, doing one's specified job; extrarole behavior-that is, engaging in behavior to help the group beyond what is required; voluntary compliance behavior-s-that is, adhering to rules; and following rules.


five forms of' instrumenral motivation were measured.
Bnvironmental cO~lti1~lJmcies.This form of instru mental motivation was assessed in two ways. First, respondents were asked about the strength of the connection between good/bad workplace behavior and incentivesysancrions-e-that is, the likelihood that good performance would be rewarded and rule breaking punished. Second, they were asked about the magnitude of the incentives/sanctions linked [0 goodybad behavior. Finally, the interaction between these two judgments was measured.
Investment, The long-term possibilities for gain through the company and the favorabiliry of company
policies were measured.
Dependence. People were asked whether their orientation toward work was instrumental-that is, they worked only for money-and whether they needed their job tor financial reasons.
Distriblltille fairness. Distributive fairness was assessed at two levels: organizational and personal. These judgments reflect the degree to which employees felt rewards and opportunities were distributed fairly in their organization.
Inserumental trust. Calculative trust was measured. Calculative trust is an estimate by the respondent of the likelihood that others will be trustworthy if they arc trusted.


Five types of social motivations were considered.
Attitudes. Three aspects of attitudes were considered: attitudes toward the company; attitudes toward one's job; and work-related emotion/affect.
Values. Feelings of obligation were measured in four ways: the legitimacy of workplace rules; the degree to which the respondent felt obligated to deliver high-performance work; the degree to which the respondent felt obligated to stay at their current work organization; and the congruence of company policies with the employee's moral values.
Idemity indicators. This analysis drew upon the conceptualization of Tyler (Tyler and Blader, 2000; Tyler and Smith, 1999) and operarionalized identity in terms of respect, pride, and identification. In the case of pride, the measurement looked at pride linked to the status of the group (Tyler and Blader, 2000), while respect referred to status in the organization, and identification to the degree that an employee merged their sense of self with their company. In addition emotional identification, as conceptualized by Kelman (1958), was measured.
Procedural justic«. Procedural justice was measured in four ways: the general procedural justice of the organization; the personal procedural justice experienced at the organization; supervisor procedural justice of decision making/inrerpersonal treatment; and organizational-level procedural justice of decision making/interpersonal treatment.
Motive-based trust and cooperasion. Tn this analysis three indices were used to measure motive based trust. Those indices measured trust in the motivations of organizational authorities; overall trust in management; and trust in one's supervisor.


Because instrumental and social motivations were linked to each other, it was important ro consider the simultaneous independent contribution of each type of motivation to cooperate. Regression analysis was conducted within the framework of structural equation modeling, which allowed t.I1C indices of the Jive instrumental and the five social clusters to load upon two latent factors: instrumental and social. Those underlying, or latent, factors were then used to predict cooperation. Cooperation was also an underlying, or latent, factor, reflecting the four indices of cooperation. As with the communiry sample, this analysis was first conducted on the wave-one respondents and then on the panel respondents. In the second analysis, cooperation in wave one was controlled upon when explaining cooperation in wave two. The results of these analyses are shown in Table 4.2.
In the time-one analysis, the estimated influence of social motivations was beta
= 0.62, P < .001; and for instrumental factors beta = 0.04, P < .001. When voluntary cooperation was distinguished from required cooperation, the influence of social motivations was found to be stronger when voluntary cooperation was being examined. An analysis of the panel data indicates that social motivations continued to be irnporrant, while instrumental influences became relatively less important.


These findings suggest that we can more effectively explain cooperation by considering social and instrumental motivations than by focusing solely on instrumental motivations. Social motivations are always found to be influential, irrespective of whether cross-sectional or panel analyses are considered. In fact, social motivations are the dominant factor shaping cooperation.
On average, the score for required cooperation was 6.19, while the average for voluntary cooperation was 4.78 (on a scale ranging from 1 to 7). This distinction was greater with performance. The mean for in-role performance was 6.46, and for extra-role behavior, 5.46, a difference of 1.00.
In tbe case of rule following, the difference between required and volunrary levels of cooperation was 0.45. In general, these means showed that respondents indicated that they engaged in generally high levels of cooperation.
As would be expected, voluntary forms of cooperation were less common than were required forms. Inother words, as was true with community residents and the police, employees show considerable willingness to cooperate with managers, even when we consider voluntary forms of cooperation. And this This chapter focuses on a micro-level exploration of the behavior of the people within organizations. As noted, such an approach is premised upon the belief that the behavior of the people within groups shapes the viability of those groups. The suggestion that the thoughts, feelings, and behavior of the people within groups arc linked with group viability and functioning is widely supported by studies within law (Tyler, 2006b), management (AUen and Rush, 1998; Freund and Epstein, 1984; Katz, Kochan, and Weber, 1985; Koys, 2001; Pfeffer, 1994; Podsakoff, Ahearne, and MacKenzie, 1997; Shore, Barksdale, and Shore, 1995), and public policy and government (Culpepper, 2003; Harrison and Huntington, 2000). In each area it has been shown that the beliefs, feelings, and behaviors of group members influence the functioning of groups.
The goal of organizational design is to produce groups, organizations, and communities that are
effective, efficient, and satisfying to their members. When these goals are not being achieved, one dear implication is that the structure of the group should be altered. This premise, that the structure of a group, organization, or community shapes the behavior of the people within it, and through that, influences the group, is a core assumption of social psychology, which both views human behavior as a response to the nature of the social institutions within which people are embedded and suggests that the viability of groups is linked to the behavior of the people within them.
A consequence of this argument is the suggestion that when the design of organizations is not consistent
with the realities of human motivation, organizations have difficulty achieving their objectives (Ferraro, Pfeffer, and Sutton, 2005). As Weber argues (this volume), the mindser of our society, that is, irs assumptions about people's psychology, stacks the cards in a variety of ways against effectively achieving cooperation, including the poor framing of instrumentally motivated choices, which interferes with the ability to be rationally self-interested, and the neglect of issues of responsibility, obligation, and moral values, which minimizes the influence of social motivations on cooperation.
Tyler (2007) suggests that the legal system has difficulty effectively motivating rule adherence because its model of human motivation docs not encompass the primary factors that actually shape deference to rules. Research suggests that people's rule-related behavior is most strongly influenced by their sense of responsibility and obligation to defer to legitimate authorities and follow moral principles (Tyler, 2006b; Tyler and Blader, 2005; Tyler, Callahan, and Frost, 2007). However, legal institutions are designed on the assumption that behavior is shaped by the instrumental risk of sanctioning.
A$ a result, there is a fundamental misalignment of the organization, in this case the legal system, and models of motivation, leading the system to be less efficient and effective than might potentially be the case.
Similarly, in the case of the management of work organizations, there is a strong emphasis upon the use of incentives and sanctions to motivate desired work-place behavior. Although studies suggest that the combination of incentives and sanctions is better able to motivate behavior than is a focus only on sanctions (Podsakoff er al., 2005; Tyler and Blader, 2000), the ability of instrumental variations to shape cooperation is still limited. Again, command-and-control approaches reflect a misalignment of illstitutiona
I design with human motivation. This misalignment occurs Dot because instrumental models cannot predict factors that influence cooperation, but because a focus only on instrumental issues is incomplete.
This chapter provides the authorities in groups, organizations, and communities with a perspective on how to better motivate desirable behavior on the part of the members of the groups they manage. The exercise of authority can potentially involve many tasks, and rhis discussion does DOt deal with all of them. It focuses, instead, on one concern that is common to many group situations: shaping the cooperative behavior of the people within a group, organization, or community. This chapter has been concerned with factors shaping peoples motivation
within groups, organizations, and communities.
T do not argue with the suggestion of instrumental models that incentives and sanctions can and often do shape cooperation. Such effects are widely, but not universally, found. Rather, I argue that an exclusive focus on instrumental approaches is not optimal, since social motivations are the strongest drivers of cooperative behavior. Hence, organizations that rely primarily or exclusively upon instrumental motivations are misaligned with human motivations and not optimally designed.
Instrumental models have the advantage of being under the control of authorities, as long as those authorities can obtain and maintain the wherewithal to deploy them. Hence, they are a motivational "sure thing," as least while times in a group are good.
It may be this element of control that most strongly draws authorities to instrumental approaches. And with the control of resources comes organizational centrality, since when authorities use instrumental approaches, they become the focus of attention, with employees shaping their behavior in response to what authorities are doing rather than in response to their own needs and concerns. Because instrumental approaches easily resonate with authorities, one approach that might be taken by them to try motivating cooperation would be to build up the effectiveness of instrumental approaches to maximize their ability to motivate members of communities and organizations.
However, the approach to increasing the motivation to cooperate I have taken in this chapter is not to strengthen instrumental approaches but instead to broaden the conception of what motivates employees. By including social motivations in the overall motivational framework, the ability to explain why people cooperate is substantially enhanced. The implication for organizational design is that there needs to be a focus on creating the organizational conditions conducive to promoting social motivations.
The argument outlined here is based upon the
distinction in utility functions between the strategies that people use to achieve their objectives and the nature of their objectives-the end states that people value.
The judgment and decision-making literature has made dear in the last several decades that there is a great deal to be gained by exploring the individual's thought processes-by developing the expectancy aspect of utility. This chapter has suggested that there is a similar benefit to developing the second aspect of the utility model--our understanding of what people value, that is, creating an expanded version of the goals that motivate people in social settings. While they are motivated by material incentives, such as opportunities for pay and promotion, and seek to avoid losses, such as sanctions for rule breaking, people are motivated by a broader set of issues, organized here and labeled social motivations. Those social motivations include attitudes, values, emotions, identity, procedural justice, and motive-based trust.

Implications for Organizational Design

The empirical analysis makes clear that instrumental and social motivations are related but that each has distinct influences upon cooperation. Hence, neither is simply a reflection of the other, It is also the case that each form of motivation has distinct conceptual characteristics and that, as a result, they are not interchangeable from an organizational-design perspective.
Instrumental approaches are widely used because they have the advantage of providing a reliable approach to motivation. Authorities do not need to seek to understand the people over whom they are exercising authority.
They can deploy a system of incentives and sanctions that will generally shape behavior in the directions that they desire.
Discussions about the use of incentives and sanctions consistently point to several limitations of such motivational approaches. One that has already been noted
is that their impact is weak. When they work, these strategies have modest effects upon behavior, Second, even when they are being successful, their use requires the continual deployment of organizationa) resources. Employees whose work is motivated by pay do not over time become motivated by other factors, 011 the contrary, their internal motivations to work are undermined by an emphasis upon pay for performance. Hence, the organization must continually allocate resources to maintain performance and may, over time, gradually have to increase those allocations as other reasons for working are undermined.
The case of resource
drain is especially striking with regulation. To prevent wrongdoing, organizations need to deploy a credible surveillance effort, such as a police or security force. And since the likelihood of apprehension is the primary determinant of behavior, that force needs to be of sufficient size and quality that it presents people with a reasonably high level of risk of being caught and punished for wrongdoing. Preventing rule breaking is essential for viability, but it does not directly add value to the organization. Furthermore, it is often out of the control of group authorities.
The September 11 arrack. upon the World Trade Center forced a massive reallocation of resources to defense and policing within the United States at a time when authorities would have preferred to deploy those resou.rces in ways that would be of greater benefit to
our society-to improve health care, lower the deficit, etc. Hence, resources deployed for regulation cannot be optimally used to promote effectiveness and are deployed reactively and our of necessity to combat security threats. While communities may gain economically by having a prison constructed and guards employed in their community, spending money to prevent and punish rule breaking is not the optimal use of collective resources. Having a large standing army or police force may be necessary, but it is costly and, over time, drains resources from an organization. Similarly, the resources that work organizations spend to monitor employees for theft and other types of rule breaking are necessary to counterthese serious organizational problems but are not a desirable usc of resou.rces.
A further problem with instrumental approaches is that they are least effective when they are needed most. Ali groups have periods of difficulty and scarcity. A company may have a decline in market share and may need to reorganize and rebuild.
A cornrnuniry may su.fferdrought or flooding and require sacrifices from its members to remain viable. It is at these times that the cooperation of group members is most essential to the survival of the group. But, ironically, this is when that cooperation is least likely to be obtainable via instrumental approaches.
A study by Brann and Foddy (1988) is illustrative. In their study, members of a community were told that collective resources (fish in the pond) were being depleted too rapidly and might disappear. Those motivated by self-interest reacted to this information by increasing the number of fish they took from the pool. Those socially motivated took fewer fish. This study illustrates how instrumental motivations may often lead people to act against the group when the group is vulnerable rather than sacrificing on behalf of the group at the risk of their self-interest. From the perspective of the group, the viability of the group
is more uncertain when it contains within it people primarily motivated by self-interest.
Tyler (2006a) reviewed the literature on legitimacy and found that, as this argument would suggest, groups whose leaders are legitimate and who therefore have a basis upon which to call upon their members to make sacrifices are more likely to survive periods of difficulty. Those leaders can appeal to social motivations when they lack the resources to reward sacrifice or punish rule-breaking behavior.
So, they have to use alternative approaches to motivate cooperation during troubled times.
Social motivations are conceptually distinct from instrumental motivations, and as a consequence they have distinct strengths and weaknesses. A distinct strength is, as has been noted, that they do not require organizational authorities to possess the abiliry to provide incentives for desired behavior or to be able to create and maintain a credible system of sanctions. At all times, groups benefit from having more resources available that can be directed toward long-term group goals. If everyday group actions are shaped by self-regulating motivations, groups have more discretionary resources.
And as the findings of this chapter make clear, social motivations are important because they are more powerful and more likely to produce changes in cooperative behavior than are instrumental motivations.
Hence, social motivations are both more powerful and less
costly than are incentives and sanctions. Of course, this does not mean that social motivations can be immediately and automatically deployed in all situations.
A weakness of social motivations is that they cannot be quickly activated within any social context.
A CEO with a million-dollar war chest can create an incentive system to motivate behavior in desired directions overnight. Conversely, a city can shift its police patrols around to vary the nature of the threat faced by community residents. Such flexibility is a major advantage of the instrumental system. Social motivations must be developed over time, as the culture of an organization is created. Hence, a long-term strategy is needed to build an organization based upon social motivations.
More simply put, in order to be able to
call upon people's loyalty and patriotism when sacrifices are required, it is necessary for loyalty and patriotism co exist widely among members of the group, organization, or SOciety.This requires a long-term strategy to inculcate and maintain such values. The findings of the research outlined here indicate that one element of such a strategy needs to involve efforts by authorities to make decisions in ways that are viewed as procedurally just and that lead to trUStin the motivations of those authorities.
A strategy based upon social motivation also has the disadvantage of taking control away from those at the tOPof the social hierarchy. If a group relies on voluntary cooperation, its Leadersneed to focus upon the attitudes and values of the people in the group. For example, they have to create work that people experience as exciting. Furthermore, they have to pursue policies that accord with the employees' moral values. These aspects of social motivation create constraints upon the actions ofleaders.
It is natural that leaders would prefer a strategy in which they are the focus of attention, irrespective of its effectiveness, to one in which they focus their attention upon the concerns of their employees or constituents. Yet, within business organizations, a focus on the customer is a widely institutionalized value. Similarly, the concept underlying democratic processes L~that, within communities, policies ought to be a reflection of the values of the members of those communities. Hence, it is hardly a radical suggestion that organizations benefit when they develop their policies and practices in consultative ways that involve all of the relevant "stakeholders," including leaders, group members, and external clients such as customers.
Aspects of procedural justice and motive-based trust feed directly into the need to make group policies and practices consistent with the attitudes and values of group members. Participatory decision making and consultation at all levels (i.e., opportunities for voice) are mechanisms through which people's vie
w' Sarc represented. And one key clement in trust is the belief that authorities are soliciting and considering people's views before making decisions. Procedures that are viewed as procedurally just and authorities judged to be trustworthy encourage input from employees to higher management. And, of course, neutrality (making factually based and impartial decisions that consistency apply rules across people) and quality of treatment (respect for people and their rights; treatment with courtesy and dignity) are also important dements of procedural fairness, as well as processes that engender trust in authorities and institutions (for a more detailed discussion of elements of justice and trust, sec Tyler, 2007).
Ironically, those constraints may often have additional value for groups. The era of corporate excess makes clear that the unchecked power of those in high management does not always end up serving the interests of the company. Hence, the need to be accountable ro others within the organization may have valuable benefits for the group and may check the tendency of leaders to engage in unwise actions. Just as "checks and balances" is frequently held up as one of the primary desirable design features of American government (Tyler, 2007), the balancing of policies and practices among stakeholders has the benefit of  restricting any tendency toward excesses.

Building Identification, Creating Attitudes and Values

Social motivations are important in theoretical terms because they point a direction tor future research inro cooperation. In addition to exploring how to motivate cooperation via more effective systems of sanctioning or by innovative incentive-based strategies, the findings outlined above argue that we would benefit from incorporating other motivations into our motivational models. This process leads to a focus on understanding which social motivations shape cooperation.
In my analysis, identification emerges as a key antecedent of cooperation. How do we build identification? The findings outlined suggest that we create organizations in which people experience procedural justice in their dealings with the authorities and institutions that they trust. These two aspects of the employee's experience
in their organization are central to their decision to merge their identities with the identity of their group.
Can this argument
be extended to attitudes and values? The results of the study of work organizations suggesr that the answer is yes. The procedural justice of the organization is linked to the favorabiliry of attitudes (r - 0.55); and of value judgments (r - 0.62). Similarly, the degree to which employees trust the motives of their managers is linked to the favorability of attitudes (r - 0.53) and of value judgments (r - 0.59). Lnother words, if people work in a justly managed social setting, managed by authorities whose motives they trust, their commitment to the organization and to their jobs is higher and they feel more obligation toward the authority.
Of course it is not necessary to view these findings as only speaking to issues of organizational design. They also have implications for selection. To the degree possible, it makes sense to recruit and seek [0 retain those group members whose attitudes, values, and identity are already favorable toward the group.
While the group climate clearly shapes cooperation, it is not the only potentially relevant factor,

Cooperation in the lewinian Tradition
Cooperation, as discussed in this chapter, was conceptualized in the tradition of motivational research begun by Lewin (Gold, 1999) and central
to the Research Center for Group Dynamics inspired by that research. In Lewin's classic studies, the focus of concern was the behavior of groups. Various types of behavior were considered, including the performance of group tasks and aggression toward others in the group. In the studies leaders sought to encourage/ discourage these behaviors using a variety of styles of motivation, including authoritarian and democratic leadership. Lewin focused his own attention upon issues of aggression and scapegoating, as well as on the performance of group tasks, with many studies centered upon the behavior of adolescents. The focus on group performance carried forward as an important aspect of the agenda of the Center for Group Dynamics was inspired by the work of Lewin and his students.
This analysis has been broadly framed using the field theory model in several ways. First, this analysis of people's actions viewed employee behavior as a reflection of two factors: external (instrumental) and internal (social) motivations. Second, the key issue is the mix of these motivations. Finally, this analysis distinguished between those behaviors that are and those that are not voluntary, that is, behaviors that do and do not occur in settings
in which behavior is being observed and those who engage in it are aware that incentives and sanctions will be shaped by their actions.


This chapter has argued for rhe value of broadening  our conceptualization of the goals that people pursue when they are members of groups, organizations, or societies. Beyond their motivation to obtain material resources, which is shaped by the rewards and sanctions risks in their immediate environment, people are also motivated by social considerations. The results outlined here indicate that such social motivations strongly influence people's cooperation with group authorities and with their rules and policies. They are particularly powerful motivators of voluntary cooperation. Since achieving widespread voluntary cooperation has advantages for groups, it is argued that understanding how to develop and sustain social motivations is an important element in organizational design.


I. Two arguments frame the suggestion that justice is a social motivation. TIle first is rhat procedural justice is distinctly relational. Tyler (1994) distinguished procedural and distributive justice, arguing that procedural justice is uniquely framed by "relational motivations." These relational issues include concern about rhe quality of decision making and the quality of interpersonal treatment (Tyler and Lind, 1992)_
The original discussion of relational motivations included trust. In this analysis, trust in the motives of authorities will be treated separately in the chapter on trust.
Treatment of this issue has not always been tile same. Tyler and Blader (2000) included indices of trust in their index of interpersonal rrcatmcnt to create rwo factors: decision making and interpersonal treatment, On the other hand, in their analysis of personal experiences with authorities, Tyler and Huo (2002) treated both general procedural justice
judgrncnts and assessments of trust as distinct judgments about the justice of decision maJcing and the justice ofinterpersonal treatment. This analysis foUows the lead of Tyler and Huo (2002) in treating trust as an issue that is distinct from procedural justice.
2. Of course, trust is nor completely distinct from procedural justice (see De Cremer and Tyler, 2007).
3. Prior research indicates that there arc large differences in cooperation with the police that are linked to demographic factors, in particular race.



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