Effects of Contextual Factors on Bargaining Decisions of Experiential Group Representatives


  • John K. Butler


This study used an OB exercise to test the effects of organizational level on the accuracy of political representation. It also compared three models of representation under two conditions of visibility to constituents. Participants were 486 undergraduate and graduate students in 96 primary groups represented by 14 congressional groups. Primary groups represented their members more accurately than congressional groups represented their constituents. Congressional groups represented the primary groups (responsible parties model) more accurately than they represented either their own delegates (trustee model) or their constituents (delegate model). Congressional groups did not represent their own delegates any more or less accurately than their constituents. Congressional groups represented the primary groups, the delegates, and the constituents more accurately when constituents did not observe the congressional decision making process than when constituent did observe that process.