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Interdependence in organizations and laboratory groups


Weber, Roberto (2000) Interdependence in organizations and laboratory groups. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/qnh7-dd04.


Interdependence arises in organizations when the appropriate action by an individual or group depends on what action others are taking. The following chapters examine cases of interdependence through the lenses of game theory and laboratory experiments. The research focuses on two games — the dirty faces game and the weak-link coordination game — that, while apparently very different, are in fact quite similar in key aspects. The most important of these is that (under some assumptions) in both games the efficient or "high effort" action is only optimal if it is the action being taken by everyone. The dirty faces game is first presented, analyzed and tested experimentally to determine whether actual behavior conforms to the optimal, theoretically proposed outcome. This is shown not to be the case even in simple versions of the game. The latter chapters examine a possible means for inducing optimal behavior in the weak-link coordination game. This method involves starting with small group sizes, which are better suited for efficient coordination, and then growing large groups slowly. The effectiveness of this method is supported by an example from the field, theory, and experimental results.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Social sciences
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Humanities and Social Sciences
Major Option:Social Science
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Camerer, Colin F.
Thesis Committee:
  • McKelvey, Richard D.
  • Palfrey, Thomas R.
  • Grether, David M.
  • Camerer, Colin F.
Defense Date:1 July 1999
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:10052010-145303282
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6101
Deposited By: Dan Anguka
Deposited On:05 Oct 2010 22:37
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 22:58

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