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Managerial Attention and Worker Performance

Author

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  • Marina Halac
  • Andrea Prat

Abstract

We present a novel theory of the employment relationship. A manager can invest in attention technology to recognize good worker performance. The technology may break and is costly to replace. We show that as time passes without recognition, the worker's belief about the manager's technology worsens and his effort declines. The manager responds by investing, but this investment is insufficient to stop the decline in effort and eventually becomes decreasing. The relationship therefore continues deteriorating, and a return to high performance becomes increasingly unlikely. These deteriorating dynamics do not arise when recognition is of bad performance or independent of effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Marina Halac & Andrea Prat, 2016. "Managerial Attention and Worker Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 3104-3132, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:106:y:2016:i:10:p:3104-32
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20140772
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oriana Bandiera & Andrea Prat & Renata Lemos & Raffaella Sadun, 2013. "Managing the Family Firm: Evidence from CEOs at Work," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-044, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2017.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bandiera, Oriana & Prat, Andrea & Sadun, Raffaella, 2013. "Managing the family firm: evidence from CEOs at work," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58162, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Oriana Bandiera & Stephen Hansen & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2017. "CEO Behavior and Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 23248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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