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Promotion of Selfish Agents in Hierarchical Organisations

  • Suzanne Sadedin
  • Christian Guttmann
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6069)

Abstract

In hierarchical organisations, a preferred outcome is to promote a more productive worker to a more influential status. However, productivity is rarely directly measurable, so an individual worker often has both motive and opportunity to misrepresent his productivity. This leads to an alternative possibility: the promotion of selfish individuals. We use an agent-based model to study how selfishness and competency of agents influence their promotion in hierarchical organisations. We consider the case where selfish agents can overstate their productivity and thus obtain undeserved promotions. Our results suggest that more productive agents reach positions of power most of the time. However, even under ideal conditions, selfish agents occasionally dominate the higher levels of a hierarchical organisation, which in turn has a dramatic effect on all lower levels. For organisations of around 100-10,000 employees with 3-4 hierarchy levels, on average, the promotion of selfish agents is minimized and the promotion of competent agents is maximized. Finally, we show that judging the productivity of an individual agent has a greater impact on promoting selfish behaviour than judging the productivity of an individual’s team. These results illustrate that agent-based models provide a powerful framework for examining how local interactions contribute to the large-scale properties of multi-layered organisations.

Keywords

Human Resource Management Multiagent System Hierarchical Organisation Boolean Network Human Resource Management Practice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Sadedin
    • 1
  • Christian Guttmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Clayton School of Information TechnologyMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of General Practice Faculty of MedicineNursing and Health Sciences Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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