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Employee recognition and performance: A field experiment

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

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 13-017.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:13017

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

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References

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  1. Kosfeld, Michael & Neckermann, Susanne, 2010. "Getting More Work for Nothing? Symbolic Awards and Worker Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 5040, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Richard B. Freeman & Alexander M. Gelber, 2010. "Prize Structure and Information in Tournaments: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 149-64, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Rosendahl Huber, Laura & Sloof, Randolph & van Praag, Mirjam, 2014. "Jacks-of-All-Trades? The Effect of Balanced Skills on Team Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 8237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Leonie Gerhards & Neele Siemer, 2014. "Private versus Public Feedback - The Incentive Effects of Symbolic Awards," Economics Working Papers 2014-01, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  5. Sabrina Jeworrek & Vanessa Mertins, 2014. "When Pay Increases are Not Enough: The Economic Value of Wage Delegation in the Field," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201408, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Nava Ashraf & Oriana Bandiera & Scott Lee, 2013. "Awards Unbundled: Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 46, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  9. Danilov, Anastasia & Sliwka, Dirk, 2013. "Can Contracts Signal Social Norms? Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 7477, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. 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).
  11. 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 04-03, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.

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