Knowing that you matter, matters! : the interplay of meaning, monetary incentives, and worker recognition


Kosfeld, Michael ; Neckermann, Susanne ; Yang, Xiaolan


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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/37386
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-373868
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2014
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 14-097
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: C93 , J33 , M12 , M52,
Keywords (English): Meaning , monetary incentives , worker recognition , field experiment
Abstract: We manipulate workers’ perceived meaning of a job in a field experiment. Half of the workers are informed that their job is important, the other half are told that their job is of no relevance. Results show that workers exert more effort when meaning is high, corroborating previous findings on the relationship between meaning and work effort. We then compare the effect of meaning to the effect of monetary incentives and of worker recognition via symbolic awards. We also look at interaction effects. While meaning outperforms monetary incentives, the latter have a robust positive effect on performance that is independent of meaning. In contrast, meaning and recognition have largely similar effects but interact negatively. Our results are in line with image-reward theory (Bénabou and Tirole 2006) and suggest that meaning and worker recognition operate via the same channel, namely image seeking.

Das Dokument wird vom Publikationsserver der Universitätsbibliothek Mannheim bereitgestellt.




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Kosfeld, Michael ; Neckermann, Susanne ; Yang, Xiaolan (2014) Knowing that you matter, matters! : the interplay of meaning, monetary incentives, and worker recognition. Open Access ZEW Discussion Papers Mannheim 14-097 [Working paper]
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