Effects of Work and Play Signals on Task Evaluation1

Authors

  • Lloyd E. Sandelands

    1. Columbia University
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    • 2

      Requests for reprints should be sent to Lloyd E. Sandelands, 720 Uris Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.


  • 1

    The author thanks Joel Brockner, Jane Dutton, Mary Ann Glynn and the reviewers for their contributions to this manuscript. This research was funded in part through the General Motors Corporation Faculty Research Fellowship, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University.

Abstract

An experiment was conducted to investigate how tasks are evaluated when signalled to be “work” or “play”. A simulation of managerial problem solving found that when a task was signalled as work it was evaluated primarily on the basis of information about its End, whereas when it was signalled as play it was evaluated primarily on the basis of information about its Means. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

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