Motivation through goal setting
AbstractWe study a principal agent model where agents derive a sense of pride from accomplishing production goals. As in classical models, the principal offers a pay-per-performance wage to the agent, determining the agent’s extrinsic incentives. However, in our model, the principal uses goal setting policies as a tool to manage agents’ intrinsic motivation. To capture the idea that different agents respond differently to different goals we introduce the concept of personal standards which determine what becomes challenging and rewarding to them, and hence the intensity of their intrinsic motivation to achieve goals. We show that, at the optimal contract, the agents’ production, as well as the goals set by the principal, increase with the agents’ personal standards. Moreover, we show that an intrinsically motivated agent gets higher surplus than an agent with no intrinsic motivation in the form of informational rents but an agent with a mid-ranged standard (and hence productivity) could end up being the one most satisfied. Therefore, our model can be helpful to explain some empirical findings in the literature of job satisfaction such as the so called “paradox of happiness”.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.
Volume (Year): 33 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep
Intrinsic motivation; Goal-setting; Reference dependent preferences; Job satisfaction;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
- M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - General
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005.
"A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences,"
784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0407001, EconWPA.
- Koszegi, Botond & Rabin, Matthew, 2004. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0w82b6nm, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001.
"What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Stavros Drakopoulos, 2008.
"The paradox of happiness: towards an alternative explanation,"
Journal of Happiness Studies,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 303-315, June.
- Drakopoulos, Stavros A., 2005. "The paradox of Happiness: towards an alternative explanation," MPRA Paper 6870, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Roland Benabou & Jean Tirole, 2003.
"Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520, 07.
- Alexander K. Koch & Julia Nafziger, 2011.
"Self‐regulation through Goal Setting,"
Scandinavian Journal of Economics,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 113(1), pages 212-227, 03.
- Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979.
"Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
- Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
- Frey, Bruno S & Jegen, Reto, 2001. " Motivation Crowding Theory," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 589-611, December.
- Astrid Matthey, 2010. "The Influence of Priming on Reference States," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(1), pages 34-52, March.
- Drakopoulos, S. A. & Theodossiou, I., 1997. "Job satisfaction and target earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 693-704, November.
- Paul Fischer & Steven Huddart, 2008. "Optimal Contracting with Endogenous Social Norms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1459-75, September.
- Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2011. "Goals and Psychological Accounting," IZA Discussion Papers 5802, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Shannon W. Anderson & Henri C. Dekker & Karen L. Sedatole, 2010. "An Empirical Examination of Goals and Performance-to-Goal Following the Introduction of an Incentive Bonus Plan with Participative Goal Setting," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(1), pages 90-109, January.
- Mosley, Hugh & Schütz, Holger & Breyer, Nicole, 2001. "Management by objectives in European public employment services," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment FS I 01-203, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
- Phelps, Charlotte D., 2001. "A clue to the paradox of happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 293-300, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.