Worker Responses To Shirking Under Shared Capitalism
AbstractGroup incentive systems have to overcome the free rider or 1/N problem, which gives workers an incentive to shirk, if they are to succeed. This paper uses new questions on responses to shirking from the General Social Survey and a special NBER survey of workers at over 300 worksites in 14 companies that have some form of group incentive pay to examine how well workers can monitor their peers and what they do when the peers are not working up to speed. The paper finds that: 1) most workers say that they can detect fellow employees who shirk; 2) many report that they would speak to the shirker or report the behavior or a supervisor, and many report that they did so in the past; 3) the proportion that takes action against shirkers is greatest among workers paid under group incentive systems, in smaller companies, and in companies with good employee-management relations; 4) group incentives interact with high-performance human resource policies such as employee involvement teams, training, task variety, low levels of supervision, and good fixed wages to induce more workers to act against shirking; 5) workers in workplaces where there is more anti-shirking behavior report that co-workers work harder, encourage other workers more, and report that their workplace facility is more effective in ways that should raise productivity and profits.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14227.
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Richard B. Freeman, Douglas L. Kruse, Joseph R. Blasi. "Worker Responses to Shirking under Shared Capitalism," in Douglas L. Kruse, Richard B. Freeman and Joseph R. Blasi, editors, "Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options " University of Chicago Press (2010)
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Other versions of this item:
- Richard B. Freeman & Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi, 2010. "Worker Responses to Shirking under Shared Capitalism," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 77-103 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
- J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-08-21 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2008-08-21 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CTA-2008-08-21 (Contract Theory & Applications)
- NEP-LAB-2008-08-21 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2008-08-21 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
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