Dr. Matthew McCarter
Assistant Professor, Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professor (2011-2013)
- BK 303H
- Office Hours:
- T: 10-12:30 pm
- (714) 289-2086
- Brigham Young University, Bachelor of Science
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, Ph.D.
Matthew W. McCarter earned his B.S. in management from Brigham Young University at Provo, Utah and received a Ph.D. in business administration from the College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an assistant professor of management in the Argyros School of Business and Economics at Chapman University and currently holds the Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professorship (2011-2013): Chapman's highest research award for faculty. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management.
Matthew's research interest is conflict management which includes the study of collaboration, cooperation, competition, coordination, relationship repair, and social dilemmas. In particular he focuses on how cooperation is fostered in organizational settings where individuals may otherwise be motivated to do so. Matthew has teamed with scholars in organizational behavior, operations management, strategic management, experimental economics, quantitative psychology, social psychology, and geography to study strategies that organizations employ to increase trust and pro-social behavior in alliances, work teams, and communities. His work provides remedies for a variety of resource management issues: such as avoiding blackouts with shared energy grids, encouraging international funding for green initiatives, and fostering voluntary cooperation to sustain environmental and organizational resources.
Matthew employs field survey, case study, and laboratory experimental research methods to capture a fuller picture of how conflict can be effectively managed and collective action achieved in organizational settings. His research is published in a variety of leading management journals: including the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Operations Management, and Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, among others. Matthew currently resides in Anaheim, California with his wife, Miriam Ellis of Lehi, Utah, and their three energetic sons.
Most Recent Publications
McCarter & Sheremeta (2013). You can’t place old wine in new bottles: The effect of newcomers on coordination in groups. PLoS ONE.
Abstract: A common finding in social sciences is that member change hinders group functioning and performance. However, questions remain as to why member change negatively affects group performance and what are some ways to alleviate the negative effects of member change on performance? To answer these questions we conduct an experiment in which we investigate the effect of newcomers on a group’s ability to coordinate efficiently. Participants play a coordination game in a four-person group for the first part of the experiment, and then two members of the group are replaced with new participants, and the newly formed group plays the game for the second part of the experiment. Our results show that the arrival of newcomers decreases trust among group members and this decrease in trust negatively affects group performance. Knowing the performance history of the arriving newcomers mitigates the negative effect of their arrival, but only when newcomers also know the oldtimers performance history. Surprisingly, in groups that performed poorly prior to the newcomers’ arrival, the distrust generated by newcomers is mainly between oldtimers about each other rather than about the newcomers.
McCarter & Bonner (2012). Glad tidings and grave warnings: The role of advice on cooperation in public goods dilemmas with value uncertainty. Organization Management Journal.
Abstract: We investigate how third-party advice on the estimated value of a public good acts as a dual-uncertainty reducing mechanism to encourage cooperation in a trust-social dilemma. Experiment 1 finds that the valence of an advisor’s estimate affects cooperation behavior and that this advice effect is mediated by the level of trust that an individual has in fellow group members. Experiment 2 finds that, when estimates about the value of the public good are mixed, trust in experts declines, and, as a result, trust in other group members also declines. Experiment 3 finds that mixed valence estimates do not affect cooperation behavior when the majority of advisors are in consensus. In merging the social dilemma and advice giving literatures, we show one way to navigate the dual-uncertainty problem when producing public goods and how independent, third-party advice can influence interpersonal relations among group members.
McCarter, Kopelman, Turk & Ybarra (2012). How anticommons resources emerge through territorial conflict in organizations. Annual Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.
Abstract: In organizations, conflict often revolves around limited common resources because they are shared and often critical for influence, performance, and organizational survival. Research on property rights, territoriality, and cooperation in social dilemma suggests that to reduce such conflict, organizations should facilitate the (psychological) privatization of commons resources. The current paper draws on the legal and social psychology literatures to model how psychologically privatizing shared organizational resources to prevent a tragedy of the commons (depletion or destruction of the resource) can lead to the emergence of equivalently inefficient anticommons resources in organizations.
Budescu & McCarter (2012). It’s a game of give and take: Modeling behavior in a give-or-take-some social dilemma. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations.
Abstract: The traditional social dilemma paradigm addresses two types of collective action problems: give-some and take-some resource management dilemmas. We highlight several limitations of these paradigms in addressing more complicated resource management problems where actors can both give and / or take resources simultaneously or sequentially. We describe and analyze a new social dilemma paradigm termed a give-or-take-some (GOTS) dilemma that merges give-some and take-some dilemmas. In this hybrid social dilemma, individuals can choose to give or to take resources from a shared resource pool. In two previous experiments we found that (1) group size negatively affects the inequality of outcomes among group members and the likelihood of creating the public good, while reducing the amount of wasted resources; (2) increasing the size of the bonus increases provision rate; (3) asymmetry in the distribution of initial wealth of the group members induces higher levels of inequality of the final outcomes. Analyses of individual decisions revealed that (4) the endowment level determined an individual’s tendency to give and take: those with high endowments were more likely to give and those with low endowments were more prone to request; but (5) the tendency to act according to one’s endowment and relative wealth in the group was not universal and a good minority of participants opted to either pass or take the opposite action; and (6) the tendency to give or take (as well as the amount typically given or requested) varied as a function of the composition of the group and the difference between endowment levels. Ultimately, the collective decisions are the aggregate of the decisions made by the individual members. We propose a simple model of individual behavior based on the players’ perceptions of their relative standing in the group and their perception of fair allocations. We use data from the two experiments to fit the model at the individual level and use it to provide a general framework for making sense of the group results.
McCarter, Mahoney, & Northcraft (2011). Testing the waters: Using collective real options to manage the social dilemma of strategic alliances. Academy of Management Review.
Abstract: We extend real options research by introducing the concept of collective real options and model how collective real options provide strategic alliances a mechanism to manage social uncertainty. Collective real options manage social uncertainty by producing relational small wins that develop trust. The amount of trust developed by acquiring a collective real option depends on the exposure of alliance partners. Alliance partner reputation also plays an important role in the impact of collective real options.
McCarter, Budescu, & Scheffran (2011). The give-or-take-some dilemma: An empirical investigation of a hybrid social dilemma. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes.
Abstract: We describe and empirically investigate a hybrid social dilemma that merges give-some and take-some dilemmas by allowing individuals to choose to either give or to take resources from a shared resource pool. Study 1 finds that (a) group size increases the inequality among group members and the likelihood of creating the public good, while reducing the amount of wasted resources; (b) larger bonuses increase provision rates; and (c) asymmetry in the wealth distribution of the group members induces higher levels of inequality of the final outcomes. Following the logic of appropriateness, players with high (low) endowments were more likely to give toward (take from) the shared resource. Study 2 finds that the tendency of the players with high (low) endowments to give (take) is amplified as the difference between endowment levels increased, and the players’ behavior is correlated with, and predictable from, independent judgments of what is perceived as appropriate.
- Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications
McCarter, M.W., Kopelman, S., Turk, T., & Ybarra, C. How anticommons resources emerge in organizations. Forthcoming in Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings. Boston, Massachusetts. (This proceedings has a 10% acceptance rate and this conference is the largest management conference in the world.)
Budescu, D.V. & McCarter, M.W. It’s a game of give and take: Modeling behavior in a give-or-take-some social dilemma. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations In press.