Coalitions in decision-making groups: Organizational analogs

J. Keith Murnighan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The literature on organizations has long focused on the concept of coalition behavior. An experiment on coalition formation was designed as a simulation of organizational decision-making groups. Previous research and a variety of game theoretic and social psychological models of coalition behavior provided strong empirical and theoretical bases for the study. Groups of masters students interacted in four sessions that manipulated the power of the five actors in each group. Results were compared to previous findings and were used to evaluate the theories. The findings suggest that (1) revenge was not often used by the players in these groups; (2) social pressure and the weak players' ability to communicate depressed the strongest players' outcomes; and (3) S.S. Komorita and J. Chertkoff's (1973 Psychological Review, 80, 149-162) Bargaining theory and the Roth-Shapley value (A. E. Roth, 1977 Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 16, 153-160; Econometrica, 45, 654-657; L. S. Shapley, 1953 in H. W. Kuhn & A. W. Tucker (Eds.), Contributions to thefs theory of games (Vol. 2), Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press) predicted coalition outcomes better than the other models tested. The implications for organizations and their members are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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