CSR and Coordination

Last registered on March 02, 2018


Trial Information

General Information

CSR and Coordination
Initial registration date
March 01, 2018

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
March 02, 2018, 4:12 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
While many organizations use corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to encourage increased worker performance, less is known about CSR's impact on other organizational outcomes that may be of interest to managers. This study provides an initial examination the intra-organizational benefits of CSR on coordination outcomes in work groups. I investigate this question by randomizing participants into CSR or own pay conditions and having them play a coordination game in groups of three in which each individual's payoff is based on the minimum effort chosen by individuals in the group. Prior research has argued that high coordination levels can act as a socially-complex "expectational asset" that cannot be easily imitated or replicated by competitors (Knez and Camerer 1994). Developing strong coordination norms, therefore, could be a key aspect of creating sustainable competitive advantage.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Rooney, Patrick. 2018. "CSR and Coordination." AEA RCT Registry. March 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2748-1.0
Former Citation
Rooney, Patrick. 2018. "CSR and Coordination." AEA RCT Registry. March 02. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2748/history/26255
Experimental Details


There will be two periods of coordination game play in this experiment. The intervention will occur in the first period, in which all earnings in the treatment arm will be donated to charity and all earnings in the control arm will be given to participants based on their individual and group performance.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Key outcome variables include (1) number of groups coordinating at the Pareto optimal point by condition, (2) average number choices by individuals by condition, (3) the variation in number choices by condition, (4) differences in the number choices of prosocial and non-prosocial individuals by condition, and (5) any behavioral spillover effects in period two in outcomes (1-4).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Taking cues from prior studies and practices in the field of behavioral economics and psychology, each of these experimental conditions will target roughly 50 participants, for a total of around 100 participants in the study (Peysakhovich & Rand, 2015; Simmons, Nelson, & Simonsohn, 2013). Randomization will occur at the session level. All experiments in this paper will be performed using zTree software (Fischbacher, 2007).

Participants will be randomly divided into groups of three and the experiment will last approximately one hour. After playing the two experimental rounds of playing the weakest link game, individuals will complete a questionnaire that gathers information on demographics, prosociality, risk aversion, Big 5 personality traits, and tendency towards systematizing or empathizing modes of thought (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer, & Belmonte, 2005).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization into sessions will be done in an office by a random number generator on a computer.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization will be at the experimental session level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The planned number of clusters will be around 2 experimental sessions per each of the two conditions.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The planned number of observations is 2,000 (20 number selections per 100 individuals).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
There will be around 50 participants in the control and 50 participants in the treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Toronto Research Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials