Publication details

The Prisoner's Dilemma in the Workplace: How Cooperative Behavior of Managers Influence Organizational Performance and Stress



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Kybernetes
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Informatics

Keywords Prisoner's dilemma; cooperation; scale-free network; agent-based modeling; organizational performance; stress
Attached files
Description The aim of the paper is to analyze the impact of cooperativeness of managers who occupy central positions in interaction networks on the performance and stress levels of a whole organization. To explore this relationship, a multi-parameter agent-based model is proposed which implements the Prisoner's Dilemma Game approach on a scale-free network in the NetLogo environment. A description of the socio-economic aspects and the key concepts implemented in the model are provided. Stability and correctness have been tested through a series of validation experiments, including sensitivity analysis. The source code is available for further exploration and testing. The simulations revealed that improving the stress resistance of all employees moderately increases organizational performance. Analyzing managers' roles showed that increasing only the stress resistance of managers does not account for significantly higher overall performance. However, a substantial increase in organizational performance and a decrease in stress levels are achieved when managers are unconditionally cooperative. This effect is stronger for the lowered stress resistance of employees. Therefore, the willingness of managers to cooperate under all circumstances can be a key factor in achieving better performance and building a more pleasant, stress-free working environment. This paper presents a model for analyzing cooperation, specifically in the organizational context, extending the Prisoner's Dilemma with novel concepts and mechanisms. While the results confirm the existing theories about the importance of central nodes in complex networks, they also provide further details on how the cooperative behavior of central nodes (i.e., the managers) might benefit the organization.

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