The Impact of Gender Diversity on Team Communication, Team Performance, and Preferences for Teamwork

Last registered on July 26, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impact of Gender Diversity on Team Communication, Team Performance, and Preferences for Teamwork
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007989
Initial registration date
July 21, 2021
Last updated
July 26, 2021, 11:10 AM EDT

Locations

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

Request Information

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
PI Affiliation
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-01-01
End date
2022-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We use an online experiment to study how a team's gender composition affects team communication, team output, and preferences for further teamwork. In the first stage of the experiment, randomly composed teams of four meet in an online chat room and work on a series of complex single choice problems under a team piece rate. Team members can communicate via a group audio chat while working on the task. The teams' gender composition varies between all-male, all-female, and mixed (two females and two males). In the second stage of the experiment, each subject meets another subject from a different first-stage team in an online chat room for a short period of time. Subjects then individually state their preference for working on the task individually, or in a team with the other subject. We also elicit the subjects' beliefs about the productivity of individual work and teamwork, and beliefs about team communication. Using digitized data on team communication from the first stage, we ask how a team's gender composition affects team communication, and whether differences in communication translate into differences in team output. Exploiting choice data and beliefs from the second stage, we explore how being assigned to either a gender-diverse or a gender-homogenous team in the first stage affects subjects' beliefs about and preferences for teamwork.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hardt, David, Lea Mayer and Johannes Rincke. 2021. "The Impact of Gender Diversity on Team Communication, Team Performance, and Preferences for Teamwork." AEA RCT Registry. July 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7989-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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

Request Information
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We implement an online experiment that induces exogenous variation in the gender composition of teams working on a complex real-effort team task. Each experimental session consists of two stages. In stage 1, we form randomly composed teams of four who meet in an online browser-based chat room. The teams' gender composition varies between all-male, all-female, and mixed (two males and two females). While working on the team task, subjects can communicate via a group audio chat that is recorded by us. In stage 2, we form randomly composed pairs of two subjects who have not met in stage 1. Pairs meet in the chat room for a short period of time. During that time, the subjects perform a simple task that requires them to talk to each other. Once the audio chat is closed, we inform subjects about the possibility that they will work on another task similar to the one in stage 1 for 15 minutes, and ask subjects to state their preference for working on the task individually or in a team with the subject they met in the chat room. We also elicit subjects' beliefs about productivities (individual and team productivity), and beliefs about team communication and interaction should the subject work with the potential teammate.
Intervention Start Date
2021-07-01
Intervention End Date
2021-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Quantitative communication measures at team level (stage 1):
- Number of words spoken
- Number of contributions
- Team-level Herfindahl indices over number of words and number of contributions
- polarity of team communication

Subjective communication measures at team level (stage 1, all measured individually on a 5-point Likert scale):
- Averages of survey responses to question on how positive the team communication was
- Averages of survey responses to question on how cooperative the team communication was
- Averages of survey responses to question on enjoyability of team work

Quantitative communication measures at subject level (stage 1):
- Number of words spoken
- Number of contributions

Subjective communication measures at subject level (stage 1, all measured individually on a 5-point Likert scale):
- Survey response to question on how positive the team communication was
- Survey response to question on how cooperative the team communication was
- Survey response to question on enjoyability of team work

Measure for team performance: Number of correctly solved problems in stage 1

Preference for teamwork: Binary indicator for preference to work with potential teammate in stage 2, as opposed to individual work

Productivity beliefs (stage 2):
- Belief about own output (number of correctly solved problems out of 20) if subjects works individually
- Belief about potential teammate's output (number of correctly solved problems out of 20) if teammate works individually
- Belief about team output (number of correctly solved problems out of 20) in case of teamwork with potential teammate
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
All outcomes not labelled primary outcomes will be considered secondary outcomes (see pre-analysis plan for details).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment will be implemented as an online experiment with students of a large public university in Germany. Many students enrolled at the university are registered with a university-wide mailing list used by researchers to invite registered students to surveys and other research-related tasks that can be conducted online. To collect our data, we invite random subsamples of students on the mailing list via email to participate in an online session at a specific time.

Each session consists of two stages. In stage 1, we form randomly composed teams of four who meet in an online browser-based chat room to work on a complex real effort task for 30 minutes. The teams' gender composition varies between all-male, all-female, and mixed (two males and two females). The real effort task consists of ten single-choice problems. Each team member receives a bonus for each problem provided that all team members mark the correct answer. While working on the task, subjects can communicate via a group audio chat. All participants have given us permission to record the audio chat for research purposes. Stage 1 ends with a short survey that subjects fill out individually. In stage 2, we form randomly composed pairs of two subjects who have not met in stage 1. Pairs meet in the chat room for a short period of time. During that time, the subjects perform a simple task that requires them to talk to each other. Once the audio chat is closed, we inform subjects about the possibility that they will work on another task similar to the one in stage 1 for 15 minutes, and ask subjects to state their preference for working on the task individually or in a team with the subject they met in the chat room. Before eliciting the preference, we inform subjects about a random draw with three possible outcomes: (a) both subjects who met will work on the task individually, irrespective of their stated preferences; (b) their stated preferences will be implemented; and (c) they will not work on the task at all. We also elicit subjects' beliefs about productivities (individual and team productivity), and beliefs about team communication and interaction should the subject work with the potential teammate. We then implement the random draw regarding the task, and (if determined by the draw) subjects work on the task. The experiment ends with a brief survey.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by a pre-programmed algorithm
Randomization Unit
First stage: Individuals are randomly assigned into teams of four
Second stage: Individuals are randomly assigned into pairs of two
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We are unsure how many subjects from the pool of students registered on the mailing list we will be able to recruit for the experiment. We believe a final sample size of between 200 and 400 first-stage teams to be realistic.
Sample size: planned number of observations
First-stage team level: between 200 and 400 teams. Subject level: between 800 and 1600 subjects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
First-stage team level: between 67 and 134 per team of given gender composition (all-female, all-male, mixed)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Subjective assessment of how positive team communication was in stage 1: With a sample of 200 (300, 400) first-stage teams, the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition is 0.20 (0.16, 0.14). Subjective assessment of how cooperative team communication was in stage 1: With a sample of 200 (300, 400) first-stage teams, the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition is 0.18 (0.15, 0.13). How much the subjects liked to work with their teammates in stage 1: With a sample of 200 (300, 400) first-stage teams, the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition is 0.27 (0.22, 0.19). Number of correctly solved problems in stage 1 at team level: With a sample of 200 (300, 400) first-stage teams, the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition (for instance, mixed vs.~all-male teams) is 0.83 (0.68, 0.59). Regarding estimations at the level of the individual subject, we report minimum detectable effect sizes for gender-specific estimations of the effect of being in a mixed team, relative to being in a gender-homogenous team. Hence, in each estimation, we use about half of the overall sample of subjects. Subjective assessment of how positive team communication was in stage 1: With a sample of 800 (1200, 1600) subjects overall (about half of them females), the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition is 0.26 (0.21, 0.18). Subjective assessment of how cooperative team communication was in stage 1: With a sample of 800 (1200, 1600) first-stage teams, the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition is 0.24 (0.20, 0.17). How much the subjects liked to work with their teammates in stage 1: With a sample of 800 (1200, 1600) first-stage teams, the minimum detectable effect for differences between teams of a given gender composition is 0.37 (0.30, 0.26). Standard deviations in all-male teams are slightly larger, leading to slightly larger minimum detectable effects for male subjects.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Commission of the School of Business, Economics and Society
IRB Approval Date
2020-09-28
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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

Request Information