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Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment

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  • Christiane Bradler
  • Robert Dur
  • Susanne Neckermann
  • Arjan Non

Abstract

This paper reports the results from a controlled field experiment designed to investigate the causal effect of public recognition on employee performance. We hired more than 300 employees to work on a three-hour data-entry task. In a random sample of work groups, workers unexpectedly received recognition after two hours of work. We find that recognition increases subsequent performance substantially, and particularly so when recognition is exclusively provided to the best performers. Remarkably, workers who did not receive recognition are mainly responsible for this performance increase. This result is consistent with workers having a preference for conformity.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2013/wp-cesifo-2013-03/cesifo1_wp4164.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4164.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4164

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Keywords: employee motivation; recognition; reciprocity; conformity; field experiment;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Lee, Scott S., 2014. "Awards unbundled: Evidence from a natural field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 44-63.
  2. Steven Levitt & John List & Susanne Neckermann & Sally Sadoff, 2013. "The behavioralist goes to school: Leveraging behavioral economics to improve educational performance," Framed Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00379, The Field Experiments Website.
  3. Kvaløy, Ola & Nieken, Petra & Schöttner, Anja, 2013. "Hidden Benefits of Reward: A Field Experiment on Motivation and Monetary Incentives," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University 451, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Oriana Bandiera & Valentino Larcinese & Imran Rasul, 2014. "Blissful Ignorance? A Natural Experiment on the Effect of Feedback on Students'Performance," Working Papers 511, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Leonie Gerhards & Neele Siemer, 2014. "Private versus Public Feedback - The Incentive Effects of Symbolic Awards," Economics Working Papers, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus 2014-01, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  6. Julian Conrads & Bernd Irlenbusch & Tommaso Reggiani & Rainer Michael Rilke & Dirk Sliwka, 2013. "How to Hire Helpers? Evidence From a Field Experiment," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences 04-03, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  7. Hoogveld, Nicky & Zubanov, Nikolay, 2014. "The Power of (No) Recognition: Experimental Evidence from the University Classroom," IZA Discussion Papers 7953, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Rosendahl Huber, Laura & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, Mirjam C., 2014. "Jacks-of-All-Trades? The Effect of Balanced Skills on Team Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 8237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Kosfeld, Michael & Neckermann, Susanne & Yang, Xiaolan, 2014. "Knowing that You Matter, Matters! The Interplay of Meaning, Monetary Incentives, and Worker Recognition," IZA Discussion Papers 8055, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Danilov, Anastasia & Sliwka, Dirk, 2013. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Sabrina Jeworrek & Vanessa Mertins, 2014. "When Pay Increases are Not Enough: The Economic Value of Wage Delegation in the Field," IAAEU Discussion Papers, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU) 201408, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).

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