I’d like you to do this quick exercise:
Part 1. Read this edited version of a summary in a 2008 paper (“Social Pressure and Voter Turnout: Evidence from a Large-scale Field Experiment, by Alan S. Gerber, Donald P. Green, and Christopher W. Larimer. American Political Science Review, February 2008)
Evidence from experiments in psychology and behavioural economics suggests that people are more likely to comply with social norms if they know their behaviour will be made public (…) Scholars in experimental economics, for example, consistently find that as social isolation is reduced, through either direct or indirect communication, individuals will tend to behave more generously in bargaining scenarios (…) Although heavy-handed requests sometimes encounter reactance, on balance people tend to comply with social norms when others are believed to be watching in order to avoid shame and social ostracism (…) Although we are not advocates of shaming tactics or policies, their cost-effectiveness makes them an inevitable development in political campaign craft, and social scientists have much to learn by studying the consequences of making public acts more public.
Part 2. Now imagine yourself as leader using these types (examples below) of public statements to your teams/workforce:
- This is the input received from all, except for Peter, Tom and Mary from whom we have not got any communication so far
- The lowest participation in the last survey was in the Marketing Department of X
- We will make all contributions public by 23 November
Part 3. Describe (to yourself) how you feel about being so explicit on non-compliance (and the above three examples could be considered very benign; imagine bigger issues)
What is the point? This is my question: Are we sometimes too nice hiding not compliance and tolerating Broken Windows?
My personal view? Yes we are. Yes we tolerate.