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Employee Recognition and Performance: A Field Experiment

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Author Info

  • Bradler, Christiane

    ()
    (ZEW Mannheim)

  • Dur, Robert

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Neckermann, Susanne

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Non, Arjan

    ()
    (ROA, Maastricht University)

Abstract

This paper reports the results from a controlled field experiment designed to investigate the causal effect of unannounced, 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. Our results are consistent with workers having a preference for conformity and being reciprocal at the same time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 8311.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8311

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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. 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.
  2. Michael Kosfeld & Susanne Neckermann & Xiaolan Yang, 2014. "Knowing that You Matter, Matters! The Interplay of Meaning, Monetary Incentives, and Worker Recognition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-043/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. Danilov, Anastasia & Sliwka, Dirk, 2013. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Susanne Neckermann & Sally Sadoff, 2012. "The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance," NBER Working Papers 18165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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 451, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.

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