Newswise — A new study sheds light on the vital role of communication and expertise within organizations, revealing their impact on group performance. Researchers examined how individuals become part of communication networks and the effect of selection processes on group performance. The study found that people who communicated more during training were more likely to be chosen as a central member of the network. In addition, teams that chose their central member performed as well as and often better than teams whose central member was randomly assigned.
The study, by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and Clark University, is published in Frontiers in Psychology.
“The people in network positions and the processes by which they arrive at those positions play a significant role in determining team performance,” says Linda Argote, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business, who coauthored the study. “For centralized network positions which require occupants to transfer information to other members of the network, it is critical to have good communication skills.”
Communication networks serve as the conduits for knowledge exchange, and central members in a network are often responsible for gathering and sharing that information. Researchers drew on studies on communication networks as well as the Carnegie research perspective, which studies the ways organizations gain efficiency through learning, developing routines and structures, and exchanging knowledge.
To test whether group members who choose the occupants of network positions select themselves and others that best suit skill requirements of the position, the authors compared the performance of groups whose members received their choice of who occupied which network position to the performance of groups whose members did not. They conducted a lab study that involved nearly 125 university students. They had two experimental conditions: in one condition, members received their choice of who occupied the central position; in the other condition, members did not receive their choice.
Allowing group members to choose who occupies which network positions enabled teams to optimize their position assignments based on individuals’ skills and expertise (e.g., organization, delegation), which boosted groups’ performance. Team members were more likely to choose individuals who communicated frequently and those who appeared to have task-related expertise to occupy the central network position. Teams receiving their choice of central member performed better than teams not receiving their choice or teams in which members were randomly assigned to the position.
Among the study’s limitations, the authors note that they investigated the effects of choice as they pertained to network positions in a single network structure, not whether groups performed differently when they could choose their network structures.
“The Carnegie perspective speaks to formal and informal communication structures in organizations but not about the processes through which workers come to occupy network positions,” explains Jerry Guo, Assistant Professor of Strategy at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, who led the study. “We extended this perspective by showing that the process through which individuals come to occupy network positions affects the performance of networks. In this way, we contribute to an understanding of how the development of a network, not just its structure, influences performance.”
The study was funded by the Center for Organizational Learning, Innovation and Knowledge at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon, the National Science Foundation, and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
Source: Carnegie Mellon University
Rent remains high, but more properties offer incentives
New construction surge prompts landlords and property managers to provide more perks
SEATTLE /PRNewswire/ — Rental concessions—offers meant to entice tenants, such as free months of rent or free parking—are at their highest level in more than two years despite strong renter demand, Zillow’s latest data shows. That’s because property managers are now likely competing for tenants, as new, primarily upscale buildings from the recent construction boom enter the rental market.
About 30% of rental listings on Zillow advertised concessions in October, a surge that signifies a notable shift in the rental market. Within the past five years, concessions reached a peak in February 2021, with 36.7% of rentals offering incentives, coinciding with low renter demand during the pandemic. Those concessions then dropped as far as 19.4% in July 2022. However, the current rise comes as typical rent prices are nearly 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels, and annual rent growth just ticked back up after nearly two years of slowing down.
“The pandemic era’s increase in concessions was a direct response to decreased renter demand. Currently, we’re witnessing a different scenario where the demand for rental housing is high, but there’s been a notable rise in supply,” said Anushna Prakash, an economic research data scientist at Zillow. “To differentiate themselves from newer, potentially more amenity-rich apartment buildings, property managers are stepping up their game, offering more incentives to attract potential renters with a broader range of choices.”
Nationwide increase in concessions
Zillow data shows an astonishing 43 of the nation’s largest 50 metropolitan areas have seen a rise in rental concessions compared to last year. The most deal sweeteners are found in Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Jose, California, where more than half the rentals listed on Zillow in October advertised concessions.
Construction boom and its effects
This trend is especially pronounced in metro areas experiencing a construction boom. According to Fannie Mae’s Mid-2023 Multifamily Construction Update, markets such as Washington, D.C., Dallas and Austin are seeing more new developments, with Dallas and Austin having 74,000 and 66,000 new units, respectively, either recently completed or underway .
Zillow’s data reveals a similar upswing in concessions in those metros and others, including Phoenix and Atlanta, which are also among the top markets for new multifamily construction. This correlation highlights how the influx of new apartments is likely prompting housing providers to offer incentives to attract renters.
10 Metro Areas with the Largest Share of Rental Concessions
|Metro||Share of Rentals|
|Year over Year|
(YoY) Change in
|Typical Rent in|
Rent Index (ZORI)
|YoY Change in|
|Salt Lake City, UT||54.4 %||26.5 %||$1,677||0.7 %|
|San Jose, CA||50.8 %||6.3 %||$3,260||0.2 %|
|Washington, DC||49.6 %||-1.2 %||$2,308||3.9 %|
|Charlotte, NC||47.6 %||20.5 %||$1,826||2.4 %|
|Minneapolis, MN||46.8 %||3.4 %||$1,647||2.7 %|
|Dallas, TX||45.9 %||17.4 %||$1,803||0.6 %|
|Phoenix, AZ||45.1 %||10.1 %||$1,902||0.6 %|
|Austin, TX||44.8 %||13.4 %||$1,813||-2.8 %|
|Nashville, TN||43.8 %||8.1 %||$1,896||0.9 %|
|Atlanta, GA||43.5 %||15.2 %||$1,925||0.4 %|
Source: Zillow data
Diverse concession strategies across metros
Conversely, metro areas such as New Orleans (9%), Providence (14%), Miami (14%) and New York (15%) observed the lowest concession rates in October. This varied landscape suggests that property managers across the country are exploring different strategies as they gauge the effectiveness of concessions before potentially adjusting rental prices.
Zillow’s research, echoing the sentiments of economists and housing experts, highlights the fact that new construction and zoning reform are pivotal in enhancing housing affordability. The current trend in concessions, likely fueled by the spike in multifamily construction, is an interesting twist in the quest for affordability. It remains to be seen if the rise in concessions will translate to a significant drop in rent growth.
Zillow provides a clear and user-friendly platform for both housing providers and renters. Property managers can easily list concessions for their properties, while renters can find all available offers under the “Special Offers” tab on participating building detail pages, enabling them to make well-informed housing decisions.
About Zillow Group
Zillow Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z and ZG) is reimagining real estate to make home a reality for more and more people. As the most visited real estate website in the United States, Zillow and its affiliates help people find and get the home they want by connecting them with digital solutions, great partners, and easier buying, selling, financing and renting experiences.
Zillow Group’s affiliates, subsidiaries and brands include Zillow®; Zillow Premier Agent®; Zillow Home Loans℠; Trulia®; Out East®; StreetEasy®; HotPads®; ShowingTime+℠; and Spruce®.
All marks herein are owned by MFTB Holdco, Inc., a Zillow affiliate. Zillow Home Loans, LLC is an Equal Housing Lender, NMLS #10287 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). © 2023 MFTB Holdco, Inc., a Zillow affiliate.
The Rise and Evolution of Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday: The online shopping extravaganza that offers incredible deals and convenience for savvy shoppers. #CyberMonday
Cyber Monday, the digital shopping extravaganza, has emerged as the Internet’s response to Black Friday. Traditionally held on the Monday after Thanksgiving, it initially aimed to rival the in-store deals of its brick-and-mortar counterpart. However, the retail landscape has evolved, and now both events often overlap. Yet, Cyber Monday retains its allure, with online sales soaring and social media playing a vital role in advertising. The convenience of mobile shopping has further fueled its popularity, allowing people to snag deals on the go. From tech gadgets to clothing and gift cards, Cyber Monday continues to captivate shoppers seeking holiday savings.
Survey Finds Inflation Still Top of Mind For Holiday Shoppers
Debt.com’s latest Holiday Spending Survey shows many will spend more due to inflation and will use credit cards to cover costs.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — Inflation is still driving prices on everything from groceries to holiday gifts, but a new Debt.com survey shows many Americans aren’t as concerned about sticker shock as they were last year.
Debt.com polled 1,000 U.S. adults about their holiday shopping plans. More respondents (60%) than last year (54%) feel they will spend more on holiday shopping this year because of inflation. Among those respondents, 3 in 5 (54%) say they will use credit cards to cover the cost of holiday shopping.
It’s an American tradition to go into debt over the holidays. Higher prices and FOMO can lead to more credit card use.Tweet
It’s almost an American tradition to go into debt for the holidays. Leading up to the holidays the fear of high prices and ‘FOMO’ (the fear of missing out) runs deep,” says Howard Dvorkin, CPA and Debt.com chairman.
Two-thirds (66%) of respondents are shopping earlier than last year. More than 1 in 3 (34%) started in November, and 15% started over the summer when inflation briefly dropped for the first time in two years.
Still, credit card debt increased 16.6% from just a year ago and Americans now owe over a trillion on their credit cards.
With average interest rates of more than 26% on major credit cards, and retail store cards at over 30% Dvorkin asserts, “Shoppers should ask themselves if they really need to buy gifts for everyone or instead, to buy gifts for a small core group of family and friends.”
About Debt.com: Debt.com is a consumer website where people can find help with credit card debt, student loan debt, tax debt, credit repair, bankruptcy, and more. Debt.com works with vetted and certified providers that give the best advice and solutions for consumers ‘when life happens.’
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