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Self-managed working time and employee effort: Theory and evidence

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  • Beckmann, Michael
  • Cornelissen, Thomas
  • Kräkel, Matthias

Abstract

This paper theoretically and empirically examines the impact of self-managed working time (SMWT) on employee effort. As a policy of increased worker autonomy, SMWT can theoretically increase effort via intrinsic motivation and reciprocal behaviour, but it can also lead to a decrease of effort due to a loss of control. Based on German individual-level panel data, we find that SMWT employees exert higher effort levels than employees with fixed working hours. Even after accounting for observed and unobserved characteristics there remains a modest positive effect. This effect is largely driven by employees who are intrinsically motivated, suggesting that intrinsic motivation is complementary to SMWT. However, reciprocal work intensification does not seem to be an important channel of providing extra effort.

Suggested Citation

  • Beckmann, Michael & Cornelissen, Thomas & Kräkel, Matthias, 2017. "Self-managed working time and employee effort: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 285-302.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:133:y:2017:i:c:p:285-302
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.11.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Lutz Bellmann & Olaf Hübler, 2015. "Working time accounts and firm performance in Germany," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-18, December.
    2. repec:spr:schmbr:v:70:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41464-017-0043-x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Viete, Steffen & Erdsiek, Daniel, 2018. "Trust-based work time and the productivity effects of mobile information technologies in the workplace," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-013, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Gerten, Elisa & Beckmann, Michael & Bellmann, Lutz, 2018. "Controlling working crowds: The impact of digitalization on worker autonomy and monitoring across hierarchical levels," Working papers 2018/09, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    5. Marco Faillo & Costanza Piovanelli, 2017. "Wage delegation and intrinsic motivation: an experimental study," CEEL Working Papers 1701, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    6. Bellmann, Lutz & Hübler, Olaf, 2015. "Are Working Time Accounts Beneficial for German Establishments?," IZA Discussion Papers 9583, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. repec:spr:schmbr:v:70:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41464-018-0045-3 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Self-managed working time; Worker autonomy; Employee effort; Reciprocity; Intrinsic motivation; Complementarity;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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