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Cheating in the workplace: An experimental study of the impact of bonuses and productivity

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  • Gill, David
  • Prowse, Victoria
  • Vlassopoulos, Michael

Abstract

We use an online real-effort experiment to investigate how bonus-based pay and worker productivity interact with workplace cheating. Firms often use bonus-based compensation plans, such as group bonuses and firm-wide profit sharing, that induce considerable uncertainty in how much workers are paid. Exposing workers to a compensation scheme based on random bonuses makes them cheat more but has no effect on their productivity. We also find that more productive workers behave more dishonestly. These results are consistent with workers’ cheating behavior responding to the perceived fairness of their employer's compensation scheme.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 96 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 120-134

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:96:y:2013:i:c:p:120-134

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

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Keywords: Bonus; Compensation; Cheating; Dishonesty; Lying; Employee crime; Productivity; Slider task; Real effort; Experiment;

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Cited by:
  1. Doerrenberg, Philipp & Duncan, Denvil, 2014. "Experimental evidence on the relationship between tax evasion opportunities and labor supply," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 48-70.
  2. Gill, David & Prowse, Victoria L., 2011. "A Novel Computerized Real Effort Task Based on Sliders," IZA Discussion Papers 5801, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Matteo Bassi & Marco Pagnozzi & Salvatore Piccolo, 2013. "Optimal Contracting with Altruism and Reciprocity," CSEF Working Papers 342, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  4. Janna Ter Meer, 2014. "The indirect effect of monetary incentives on deception," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-04, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. Axel Ockenfels & Dirk Sliwka & Peter Werner, 2014. "Timing of Kindness - Evidence from a Field Experiment," CESifo Working Paper Series 4885, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-27 is not listed on IDEAS

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