Cassandra Chambers | Bocconi University
My research examines the robustness of social systems in the face of potentially disruptive social forces. In particular, I focus on maintaining robust systems of cooperation in the presence of performance rankings. Systems of cooperation often operate in contexts that feature performance rankings (e.g., the ride-sharing company Uber uses a rank and yank performance evaluation system while still expecting employees' cooperation on complex cooperative coding tasks). Yet, a growing body of research is highlighting potential downsides to performance rankings that could undermine the maintenance of systems of cooperation. This suggests that performance rankings may unexpectedly introduce negative dynamics into a system that drive actors toward uncooperative behaviors and undermine the system as a whole. To this end, I investigate how systems of cooperation withstand or succumb to performance rankings.
Across my projects, I explore the topics of cooperation, social rankings, social influence, and decision-making at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., individual, group, and system level). I use a diverse set of methodological approaches including analyses of large-scale longitudinal datasets, between-groups no-deception experiments, within-subjects eye-tracker experiments, field research using mobile applications, and qualitative methods such as participant observation and interview studies.