This article analyzes under which conditions a manager can motivate a junior worker by verbal communication, and explains why communication is often tied up with organizational choices as job enlargement and collaboration. Our model has two important features. First, the manager has more information about a junior's ability than the junior himself. Second, the junior's effort and ability are complements. We show that the manager has an incentive to exaggerate the junior's ability. We discuss two ways in which the manager can make credible statements about the junior's ability. First, the senior can delegate a task to the junior for which it is important that the junior has a correct perception of his ability. Information is shared through a costless signal. Second, the senior can spend more time on a junior she perceives as able than on a junior she perceives as less able. Information is then shared through a costly signal.

Additional Metadata
Keywords collaboration, communication, delegation, incentives, overconfidence, signalling
JEL Game Theory and Bargaining Theory: General (jel C70), Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights (jel D23), Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge (jel D83)
Persistent URL
Swank, O.H, & Visser, B. (2004). Sharing Information through Delegation and Collaboration (No. TI 04-042/1). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from