Who should make the decisions in order to maximize operative effect? - a chess-based study of authority and common understanding


  • Lindoff Jenny
  • Rencrantz Carin
  • Andersson Jan

Publish date: 2004-01-01

Report number: FOI-R--1479--SE

Pages: 24

Written in: Swedish


Who, in a hierarchical organized group, should decide what in order to maximize performance? This question was the foundation of a study based on chess where two teams played against each other. One person in each team was appointed commander and made decisions about activities and allocation of resources (some extra chess men) in different extension. The commander´s and the players´common understanding were assessed, i.e. whether commander and player were in agreement on the aspects. The conclusion from the study is that the commander should make decisions about activities and resource allocation. It is advantageous if the commander and the players are in agreement of the rules of manipulation of activities and resource allocation (when the commander has the authority to manipulate both the activities and resource allocation). The result could be transferred to e.g. how a battalion should be lead to maximize performance. However, it is important to note that these results are valid only when the commander has access to real-time information and have a higher level of attainment i.e. when the commander can see the same thing as the participants and have superior knowledge.