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Shirking and motivations in firms: survey evidence on worker attitudes

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  • Minkler, Lanse

Abstract

In an extensive national survey, 82.7% of the respondents report that they are very likely to keep an agreement to work hard if they agreed to, even if it was almost impossible for their employer to monitor them. Based on mean responses, the rank order of motivations in descending importance is: moral, intrinsic, peer-pressure, and positive incentives. Respondents also report that fairness considerations are important and that they are especially likely to keep agreements to do a good job with honest employers. Logit analysis indicates that increases in moral and intrinsic motivations increase the likelihood of keeping agreements to provide effort. The evidence suggests that we need to re-examine a foundational assumption underlying the theory of the firm.
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  • Minkler, Lanse, 2004. "Shirking and motivations in firms: survey evidence on worker attitudes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 863-884, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:22:y:2004:i:6:p:863-884
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Koning & J. Vyrastekova & S. Onderstal, 2006. "Team incentives in public organisations; an experimental study," CPB Discussion Paper 60, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Joseph Lanfranchi & Mathieu Narcy, 2012. "Effort and Monetary Incentives in Nonprofit and For-Profit Organizations," Working Papers halshs-00856261, HAL.
    3. Dittrich, Dennis & Kocher, Martin, 2006. "Monitoring and Pay: An Experiment on Employee under Endogenous Supervision," CEPR Discussion Papers 5962, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Nathalie Lazaric & Alain Raybaut, 2014. "Do incentive systems spur work motivation of inventors in high tech firms? A group-based perspective," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 135-157, January.
    5. Dickinson, David & Villeval, Marie-Claire, 2008. "Does monitoring decrease work effort?: The complementarity between agency and crowding-out theories," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 56-76, May.
    6. Dur, Robert & Non, Arjan & Roelfsema, Hein, 2010. "Reciprocity and incentive pay in the workplace," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 676-686, August.
    7. Jana Vyrastekova & Sander Onderstal & Pierre Koning, 2012. "Self-selection and the power of incentive schemes: an experimental study," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(32), pages 4211-4219, November.
    8. Dennis Dittrich & Martin Kocher, 2006. "Monitoring and Pay: An Experiment on Employee Performance under Endogenous Supervision," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2006-23, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
    9. Nathalie Lazaric & Alain Raybaut, 2014. "Do incentive systems spur work motivations of inventors in high-tech firms," Post-Print halshs-00930186, HAL.
    10. Pelligra, Vittorio, 2004. "Motivazioni, Procedure e Filtri: strumenti innovativi di sviluppo organizzativo," AICCON Working Papers 4-2004, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
    11. Vera Brenčič, 2015. "Employers' Efforts to Deter Shirking in Teams: Evidence from Job Vacancies," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(1), pages 52-78, March.
    12. Maurizio Pugno & Sara Depedri, 2010. "Job Performance and Job Satisfaction: An Integrated Survey," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 175-210.
    13. Basu, Kaushik, 2006. "Identity, Trust and Altruism: Sociological Clues to Economic Development," Working Papers 06-05, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
    14. Kaushik Basu, 2007. "Identity and altruism: The Moral basis of prosperity and oppression," Indian Statistical Institute, Planning Unit, New Delhi Discussion Papers 08-08, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi, India.
    15. Borck, Rainald & Frank, Bjorn & Robledo, Julio R., 2006. "An empirical analysis of voluntary payments for information goods on the Internet," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 229-239, June.
    16. Martin, Pardupa, 2007. "Cooperation or rivalry? Employee’s effort and appropriate knowledge distribution as key elements for maximizing the profit of the firm," MPRA Paper 26428, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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