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Treating Equals Unequally: Incentives in Teams, Workers' Motivation, and Production Technology

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  • Sebastian J. Goerg
  • Sebastian Kube
  • Ro'i Zultan

Abstract

The importance of fair and equal treatment of workers is at theheart of the debate in organizational management. In this regard,we study how reward schemes and production technologies affect effort provision in teams. Our experimental results demonstrate that unequal rewards can potentially increase productivity by facilitating coordination and that the effect strongly interacts with the exact shape of the production function. Taken together, our data highlight the relevance of the production function for organization construction and suggest that equal treatment of equals is neither a necessary nor a sufficient prerequisite for eliciting high performance in teams. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. Allrights reserved..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 28 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 747-772

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:28:y:2010:i:4:p:747-772

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Cited by:
  1. Abeler, Johannes & Altmann, Steffen & Goerg, Sebastian & Kube, Sebastian & Wibral, Matthias, 2011. "Equity and Efficiency in Multi-Worker Firms: Insights from Experimental Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5727, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Klor, Esteban F. & Kube, Sebastian & Winter, Eyal & Zultan, Ro'i, 2011. "Can Higher Bonuses Lead to Less Effort? Incentive Reversal in Teams," IZA Discussion Papers 5501, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Roi Zultan & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2011. "See No Evil: Information Chains and Reciprocity in Teams," Working Papers 1108, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  4. Sven Fischer & Eva-Maria Steiger, 2009. "Exploring the Effects of Unequal and Secretive Pay," Jena Economic Research Papers 2009-107, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  5. Esteban Klor & Sebastian Kube & Eyal Winter & Ro'i Zultan, 2013. "Can Higher Rewards Lead To Less Effort? Incentive Reversal In Teams," Working Papers 1309, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  6. Steiger, Eva-Maria & Zultan, Ro'i, 2014. "See no evil: Information chains and reciprocity," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-12.
  7. Lewis Evans & Graeme Guthrie & Neil Quigley, 2012. "Contemporary Microeconomic Foundations for the Structure and Management of the Public Sector," Treasury Working Paper Series 12/01, New Zealand Treasury.

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